TRIBUTES have been paid to a woman who helped inspire a local history society.

Joyce Urwin, who helped found Tudhoe and Spennymoor Local History Society, died at the University Hospital of North Durham, on Sunday, March 16.

The 76-year-old ran a dress shop on King Street for many years.

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She was one of a small group of history enthusiasts who establised the society more than 25-years ago, serving as its president for the last four years.

Tony Smith, chairman of the history society, said: “Joyce was the heart of everything connected with the Tudhoe and Spennymoor Local History Society.

“From its very beginnings she put to use her considerable organisational and catering skills.

“For many years she was its chairman and latterly its president and she strove to make the society one of the best in County Durham.

“Today its strong membership and its continuing vigour are testimony to the immense amount of work which Joyce put into making it so. We will solely miss her.”

Mrs Urwin, from Tudhoe,  was married to Fred and the couple had two children Andrew and Linda. She was also grandmother to Charlie, Alexander, Hattie and Sophie.

Her funeral is held at St David’s Church, Tudhoe, on Monday (March 24) at 1.45pm followed by a private cremation at Durham Crematorium.