I have sad news to report – our oldest and longest serving member, Yvonne Gamble-Thompson
passed away on Tuesday 17 th October – she would have celebrated her 89 th birthday next month.
Although Yvonne was not a runner (though she did take part very occasionally in fun run type
events) she was the matriarch of a family of top runners – late husband Harry, son Mark, daughter
Helen and grandson Lewis.
Although most of our current members will not have met Yvonne, they do still owe a debt of
gratitude for the service Yvonne gave to the club for many years.
She became a volunteer member of New Marske Harriers in the very early days of the club and
served for over 30 years. In the days before the track at Guisborough, she “opened up” the club for
us at Bydales School on Tuesdays and St Thomas Church Hall on Wednesdays and Saturdays, week
in, week out. She organised things like bus trips, Christmas dinners, club clothing. In the days of
paper (before the internet) she was membership secretary, and much more! During this time, she
was also a foster parent to many young babies!
A formidable woman with forthright views, we had the odd difference of opinion, but grudges were
not held for too long – I nicknamed her “The Enforcer” which she secretly liked – recognition of the
energy and determination shown in the jobs she did.
When I told the committee in 1992 that if the club was serious in its ambitions of having an athletics
track, it needed to embark on a serious fundraising campaign. Yvonne was the first to give me
support at the committee meeting, but this continued into practical hands-on help with our “Goal-
Pot” weekly lottery which raised over £50,000 which was absolutely key in getting the track which
was eventually built at Laurence Jackson School.