Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tributes Paid to Gospels Champion

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tributes Paid to Gospels Champion

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black ? 07884 117069 ? dave.black@ncjmedia.co.uk

WARM tributes were paid yesterday to a founding member of a North East charity which champions the region's culture, traditions and identity. John Danby - chairman of the Northumbrian Association - died at his home in the early hours yesterday after being diagnosed with cancer early in 2011.

The 74-year-old former businessman passed away peacefully just less than a week after spending his final Christmas Day surrounded by his family.

Mr Danby, who lived with his wife Hazel at Rickleton near Chester-le-Street, was a passionate and long-time campaigner for the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels from the British Library, to what he believed was their rightful home in the North East. The campaign led to him, and a group of like-minded people, setting up the Northumbrian Association in the late 1990s to maintain and promote North East cultural life.

He served as events organiser and treasurer of the association before succeeding Mike Tickell - father of Northumberland folk musician Kathryn - as chairman in 2007.

The association organises the annual Hotspur Awards, which honour individuals or organisations for "bold endeavour", bringing credit to themselves and the North East.

Earlier this year it paraded a replica of the 16th Century St Cuthbert's banner through Durham, after working for four years on a project to recreate the original.

Members of the Association also take part in the annual Cuddy's Corse walk along a seven-mile route from Chester-le-Street to Durham, which is thought to have been taken by monks carrying St Cuthbert's coffin for burial.

Mr Danby retired some years ago after running a number of flower and fruit shops in South Tyneside, and devoted more of his time to his passion for North East culture and his love of walking, cycling and the countryside. …

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