Dorothy Hind who took over the mantle of cataloguing some of the huge archive at Keswick Museum has died aged 85 just after completing her task.
Dorothy studied history at Manchester University where she met her partner of 68 years Elizabeth Barraclough. She trained as a social worker, working for local authorities across the North East before finally settling and working for the charity Barnardos.
Each time she changed jobs Dorothy took the opportunity to take time off to broaden her experience, so spent some months in France studying their social service provision and went to India to learn about their way of life.
After Dorothy’s parents died, in 1975, she and Elizabeth bought a house in Keswick ostensibly to house the furniture, but it provided a welcome weekend retreat and a holiday house for relatives.
They both became voluntary wardens in the National Park patrolling paths and collecting litter at weekends.
After retiring in 1993 the couple moved permanently to Keswick, allowing Dorothy the time to take up her interest in local history. She collected second-hand books and visited book fairs buying and selling books in Cumbria.
Because of her interest in local history Keswick Museum was of great importance to Dorothy and she was involved in the long struggle to get the museum established as a viable organisation when Allerdale Borough Council were no longer able to support it.
Keswick Museum and its archives were latterly a major part of Dorothy’s life. After George Bott died there was a real danger that his collection of newspaper cuttings on activities and personalities in the Keswick area would be lost. Dorothy took on the task of incorporating this material into the archives in the Museum, finishing the task of indexing records of individuals just before she died.
Retirement also offered the opportunity for Dorothy to go back to studying and she enrolled as a student with the Open University taking courses in History, French and general studies gaining a second degree, which was awarded at Versailles.
Keswick U3A created another opportunity for Dorothy to study and she ran a local history group for a time as well as being a determined member of the French group using her increasing competence to take many holidays in France.
Two other holiday activities were cricket and archaeology. Dorothy was a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and joined tours organised to follow Test matches in Australia and New Zealand as part of the “barmy army”.
She was also a member of the Northumberland Archaeology Group and went on holidays looking at archaeological sites in Europe and the USA.
Her other main interest was Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake, she was a Front of House volunteer from its opening in 1999 until she retired in August last year. She attended all the ‘In House’ productions until the last Christmas show which she was too ill to attend.
Elizabeth said: “Dorothy had a splendid life and always loved visiting our home in Keswick. We were both delighted to have been able to retire here and become part of the town.”