THE funeral took place on Wednesday, June 2, of Joan Newman, aged 91.

Joan was well known in local amateur theatre circles for directing successful plays for Ilkley Playhouse, Burley Theatre Group, Menston Thespians and Otley Townswomen’s Guild. She also was a committee member of the Wharfedale Festival of Theatre in its early days.

Joan lived in Burley-in-Wharfedale and was one of the organisers of Burley Open Door. She was also an active member of the parish at SS John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Burley where she started the children’s liturgy and organised two separate flower festivals in the church. She also served as a governor at St Mary’s RC Comprehensive School in Menston.

Aged 24, Joan was part of the Woman’s Goodwill Tour of Europe (sponsored by the South African Aid to Britain Fund) when she visited France, Switzerland and Germany. Before leaving these shores, she met Mrs Attlee at 10 Downing Street – returning to Downing Street in 2003 on the 50th anniversary of the trip to meet Cherie and Tony Blair.

Joan is survived by with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Paul, Simon and Tim.