U-Turn That Would Be Welcomed – Do the Right Thing

Liz Taverner the Duchess of Duston

U-Turn That Would Be Welcomed

When the formed Timken Works closed and the land was sold off for the development of housing in Duston there was no greater advocate and champion of the retention of a sports facility for the use of the people of Duston than Liz Taverner, or as she was known affectionately the ‘Duchess of Duston’.

Liz was not only the Chairwoman, (heaven help anyone who called her the chair) of the Duston Parish Council but also a Borough and County Councillor for Duston who had the interest of the local people and Northampton always foremost in her thoughts.

Don’t be fooled that Liz was an angel, she could be irascible and difficult and woe betide you if you got on the wrong side of her which inevitably would lead to your name being added to her famous list that certainly in local politics across Northampton has passed into mythology.

It has to be said you could be taken off of the list as quickly as you went on it.

On the other hand she was also one of the most generous of people and the story of how even though she knew the end was near following a lengthy illness she took the time to send a card to a former colleague who had to go into hospital for a major operation wishing him well.

Her commitment to youth was based on a real desire and interest to promote youth for the future, always a great supporter of the Sea Cadets she was instrumental in setting up the Young Fire Fighters Course and it is why she was so committed to keeping and developing the sports centre in Duston.

The recent news that it was no longer going to be named the Liz Tavernier Sports Centre but the Duston Sports Centre is wrong on many levels.

From a Community point of view naming the Centre after Liz would have personalised it, and I’m sure I’m not alone when travelling around the UK and seeing roads such as the Walter Tull Way, or centres named after people who ask “Who Was That”, for that alone the Parish Council should do a U-turn, after all why choose an anonymous bland name taken from the geographical area.

From a personal point of view there are members of the Duston Parish Council who owe their civic roles to the support and loyalty they received from Liz Taverner   and who I’d hope would reconsider the decision and do what would be a welcome U – Turn and fulfil the promise the made to the Taverner family to dedicate the centre to the memory of Liz Taverner.