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Coronavirus: Hornsey Lane Estate says goodbye to much-loved youth worker lost to Covid-19

PUBLISHED: 17:29 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:29 23 April 2020

Barbara Short and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: Lynn Sparks

Barbara Short and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: Lynn Sparks

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A wonderful woman who ‘gave her heart to her family and community’ has sadly died with Covid-19.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Barbara Short. Picture: Lynn SparksFormer Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Barbara Short. Picture: Lynn Sparks

Barbara Short, 70, a former youth worker at the Hornsey Lane Estate Community Centre in Hazellville Road, died at the Whittington Hospital three weeks ago.

Her funeral was on Tuesday but social distancing rules during the Covid-19 lockdown meant no more than 10 family members were allowed to attend.

However, she was given a heroes send off on her way to be buried as a hearse drove her coffin through the estate and all her neighbours hung out of windows or stood on their doorsteps and applauded her. The song You Will Never Walk Alone was played as she made her final journey through the estate.

She was one of seven siblings and also leaves behind her son Mark and his wife Hazel, and grandson Jack, whom Barbara was “besotted” with.

Tributes have been paid to Barbara Short. Picture: Cllr Dave PoyserTributes have been paid to Barbara Short. Picture: Cllr Dave Poyser

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Barbara’s sister-in-law Lynn Sparks, married to Steven, said: “She was so kind, she did everything for everybody, if anybody wanted something they would go to Barbara and she would be there.

“She was a people’s person, she spoke to everybody – and she was a staunch Arsenal supporter.”

She said Barbara was at the forefront of the fight for improvements to the estate during the 1970s, later serving as chair of the Hornsey Lane Estate Tenants Association.

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn was among those out honouring Barbara’s memory on Tuesday.

He told the Gazette: “Barbara gave her heart to her family and the community. A huge figure, go to person, and friend to all on the Hornsey Lane Estate. So fitting she was brought to the estate on her final journey, the whole community came out and applauded her as You Will Never Walk Alone was played.

“The lovely community at Hornsey Lane and its community centre is a tribute to her.”


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