The Open Clasp team would like to thank the Margaret and Dorothy Gordon Memorial Fund for their grant of £750 to help us continue working with women in the North East of England. We are very honoured that this is the first grant from this fund and that there is a strong synergy with the aims of the fund and what we are doing as a company.
“I felt so inspired by Gran and Mum, the setting up of the fund, helping other working-class women …This donation will support those women who are placing their trust in us to tell their stories, with all the fight, humour and strength of Margaret and Dorothy Gordon.” Artistic Director of Open Clasp, Catrina McHugh MBE
The Community Foundation of Tyne and Wear said about the Memorial Fund:
This grant is particularly poignant as it is the first grant awarded from the Fund. Established in 2006 to remember two strong women; Margaret Gordon was born in 1921 into a working class family in Aberdeen. She lost both her parents at a young age, lived her whole life in Aberdeen, left school at 14, lived through WW2 as a teenager and was widowed twice by her early 40’s. She worked for the Council Wages Department until she retired and had lived in the same council flat for 40 years when she died. A talented seamstress and crown green bowler, a positive matriarch with extremely modern views, her approach to life was always “just get on with it” which she applied to every situation with a sharp wit. After she died of cancer in 2004 her eldest granddaughter wanted a way to remember her here in the north east, since her grave in Aberdeen was too far away to visit, and began to pay every month towards an Acorn Fund in her name. Eight years later in 2012 the donor’s Mum – maiden name Dorothy Gordon, the eldest daughter of Margaret. Dorothy had left Aberdeen when she got married, living briefly in London, then settled in Yorkshire with her family. She went back to working part time once her 3 children were in school, first as a ‘Dinner Lady’, then becoming a Teaching Assistant with nursery and reception aged children – a job she adored. Diagnosed with MS in 1994 she continued to work part time when well enough, but cut back on her additional hobbies of costume making, amateur dramatics, sewing and baking. After her death in 2012 the donor added her name to the fund to remember her, and it continued to grow little by little, month by month until it reached the level to make grants in 2019.