THE local theatre community has come together to pay tribute to a 'stalwart' figure and a 'long-time' friend to all.

Heartfelt tributes have flooded in for Barrow's Barbara Calvert, who died on May 30 aged 90.

Mrs Calvert spent 50 years involved in amateur societies such as the Walney Junior Amateur Operatic Society, Walney Musical Theatre Company (WMTC) and Barrow Operatic and Dramatic Society (BODS).

Her interest in the amateurs started when her husband Bill Calvert became involved as an actor in the local groups.

Louise Marshall, of BODS, described Mrs Calvert as her 'auntie'. Louise's parents were also part of the theatre community and Mrs Calvert and her husband were best friends of Louise's parents. 

Bill Calvert who passed away in 2021Bill Calvert who passed away in 2021 (Image: Submitted) "My 'uncle' Bill loved performing on stage so Barbara came down and they both instantly fell in love with it," she said.

"She and a couple of other women were the matriarchs of the societies at some point. The maternal figures that any of us could turn to."

Louise added: "She was always part of the WMTC committee and doing costumes or making coffee or just there as a listening ear. For WMTC she used to go around and collect a lot of the adverts. She did a lot of work towards putting the programme together. For BODS she would be there making tea and coffee making sure everything ran smoothly for audition and show week.

"I will miss her dearly but treasure the memories that I have got."

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A spokesperson for WMTC described her as an 'absolute stalwart' of local theatre and a 'huge part' of Walney.

It said: "Always there with guidance, encouragement and a smile - Barbara was always the first to welcome new members and made every single person feel important. She was also a valued long-term member of our committee - I dread to think how many calls she made over the years to get us adverts for our programme and her meeting buffets were the stuff of legend - you never went home empty-handed!

"I’m sure I speak for all of us that knew her when I say we’ll miss her terribly and send our love to her family."

A spokesperson for Abbey Musical Society said: "Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Barbara Calvert, a life member and long-time friend of the society who sadly passed away this morning. Such a lovely lady who along with her late husband Bill supported all the local amateur groups."

Mrs Calvert leaves behind her three daughters, who have been involved in theatre at some point.