TRIBUTES have been paid to a caring woman who has helped raised thousands of pound for charity.

Betty Blythe, who was 74, died at home in Thornton-le-Dale on August 24, with her husband, Martin, by her side.

Born and bred in Pickering, Betty, whose maiden name was also Pickering, trained as a nurse at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough before moving to Guy’s in London.

Martin said: “Betty wanted to train at the best which is why she went to train at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, after which she spent 10 years working in London specialising in kidney research.

“Betty then decided to move back home and was offered a job at Number 5 Whitby Road in Pickering, which is where we met.

“We shared a love of music, including Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohn, who Betty loved.

“We would spend hours sat on the kitchen floor listening to music.”

The couple married in 1982 and Betty went on to help Martin in his role as chairman of Thornton-le-Dale Show.

Martin said: “Betty was very gifted with her crafts and passionate about sewing and quilt making especially, gaining prizes for her exhibits.

“She also acted as a steward at the show.”

For a number of years Betty has also held a garden party, selling her own crafts and those from her friends, to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Care.

“She raised over £18,000 in total and next year we plan to have a special garden party in celebration of Betty’s life to get the amount raised over £20,000,” added Martin.

Betty was forced to retire 16 years ago after suffering from bowel cancer, which she recovered from.

However, two and a half years ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Martin said: “Betty had the misfortune to get cancer twice, but she never let the illness get to her and many people were not aware how poorly she was.”

Friends of Betty and members of Thornton-le-Dale Show Committee, who were unable to attend her funeral service due to coronavirus restrictions, so gathered at the road side with sunflowers as her cortege passed by as a tribute to her life.

Martin said: “Betty was a jovial person and well-liked, she was also strong and caring. She will be greatly missed.”

Betty also leaves a son, Javed, and two teenage granddaughters.