Barbara Down
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20 December, 2011

Betty Gray was a primary school teacher in Newcastle upon Tyne, where she and her husband Rex lived from 1966. They both took early retirement in order to become involved with Moral Re-Armament’s (now known as Initiatives of Change) community relations campaigns. She and Rex worked alongside the former West Indies Vice-Captain Conrad Hunte, who had also retired from professional cricket in order to help to build Britain’s community relations.

Betty Gray
Betty Gray
She and Rex were close friends of Dr Hari Shukla OBE, a former director of Tyne and Wear Racial Equality Council who went on to pioneer Newcastle’s ‘City of Peace’ movement.

Betty wrote the play Clashpoint, which theatre producer Nancy Ruthven helped her to stage. She and Rex toured with the play around Britain just after the Toxteth riots of 1985. It was performed at the Westminster Theatre in London, starring a young Kwami Kwei-Armah, and also in the US. Clashpoint was later made into a film starring Roshan Seth and Ellen Thomas. Betty also wrote the booklet Watersheds, published by Grosvenor Books in 1986. 

After Rex's death in 1994 she lived with her daughter Barbara and son-in-law David Down and their family in Newcastle. In 2005 she moved to a nursing home nearby. She died on 15 November 2008, aged 85.

In addition to two daughters, Margaret and Barbara (one son Philip, deceased), she is survived by five grandchildren.

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