Paley was vivacious, attractive and sociable

Photo:Paley was featured in Brighton & Hove buses magazine in May 2008 for her work at Middle Sreet school

Paley was featured in Brighton & Hove buses magazine in May 2008 for her work at Middle Sreet school

Photo:Paley working in her own patio

Paley working in her own patio

Photo:Paley in pensive mood

Paley in pensive mood

She passed away on 16th March 2016

By Kathy Spencer, member of NLCA Management Committee

We have been greatly saddened by the unexpected and untimely death of popular North Laine resident Paley O’Connor, a stalwart and active member of the NLCA. 

She suffered a brain haemorrhage

Vivacious, attractive and sociable, with her trademark shock of curly blonde hair, Paley died on 16th March 2016 after suffering a brain haemorrhage. She had been the NLCA Street Representative for Upper Gardner Street for many years.

She enjoyed attending social events

Paley especially enjoyed coming to NLCA social events and attended the recent 40th anniversary party at the Brighthelm Centre on 27th February 2016.

Paley co-ordinated the NLCA allotment and started a community composting scheme

A keen gardener, Paley started the NLCA gardening group some years ago and co-ordinated the (still existing) NLCA community allotment at Stanmer Park. She also campaigned for a community composting scheme for North Laine and was its first volunteer coordinator, working with the Council. Composting bins were installed both at Brighthelm gardens and at St Peter's Church, thanks to her hard work.

Full of ideas

Always creative and full of ideas, in 2012 Paley started a Stitch and Bitch, Knit and Natter group for sewers and knitters. In 2007 she interviewed some of the Upper Gardner Street market traders and wrote up the results for a very entertaining article in the North Laine Runner (now on this website - see here).

Her mother had been chair of the NLCA

In being actively involved in the NLCA Paley was carrying on a family tradition, as her mother Bibi O'Connor was chair of NLCA in the 1990s and died while in office in 1994.

Amazing style

Paley’s friend Ruth Goodall, a North Laine resident, said:”“Paley had amazing style, which she inherited from her mother Bibi. She absolutely loved a good party and the world will be a little less colourful without her.”

Other strings to her bow

Paley, who leaves a teenage daughter Nisha, had many strings to her bow, recalled Ruth. ”She was a teacher of English as a foreign language and more recently she ran sewing classes for the Friends Centre. Paley also worked for the Dome as a front of house steward for many years.”

A kind nature

NLCA chair Francis Clark-Lowes was in the gardening group with Paley and remembers her kind nature.“She helped my son, who needed moral support at that time, by inviting him to help at the allotment at Stanmer. She was a very caring person." 

Heather met Paley through the gardening group

Paley’s good friend Heather Hacker, another North Laine resident, met her through the gardening group. “We were a large group of feisty women who dug and planted our plot. Dear Paley stood alone after many years, as our numbers dwindled. She spent many years toiling there in the peace of Stanmer, where she seemed happy. Nisha has grown up with her earth mother to appreciate our planet and make a difference to it.”

Sorely missed

Paley will be sorely missed by her friends in the NLCA and we send our condolences to her daughter Nisha.


[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 239, March/April 2016]

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