Former Felpham head teacher remembered

Margaret High with colleagues at Bishop Tufnell School on retirement day
Margaret High with colleagues at Bishop Tufnell School on retirement day

Former Felpham head teacher Margaret High has died at the age of 94.

Miss High will be most remembered for her work at the former Felpham Church of England Infant School from the late 1960s onwards.

Margaret relaxing in retirement with her beloved cocker spaniel

Margaret relaxing in retirement with her beloved cocker spaniel

She presided over the transition to Bishop Tufnell School, in Pennyfields, in 1972 and remained there very happily until her retirement in 1982.

Nephew Jeremy High said: “She was quite charming in a very proper, old-school sort of way. She was very kind-hearted but very proper, as you would imagine an old school head would be.

“She loved young children and that was where she found her mark.

“The original village school building can still be seen, although it has since been converted into flats. It was quite a close-knit school.”

Margaret was born in Acton, West London, on September 22, 1922, and spent most of her childhood in the Wimbledon area.

She was educated at Wimbledon County School for Girls and during World War Two, became involved in Red Cross work with the Voluntary Aid Detachment, being trained in first aid and nursing. She was awarded the Commonwealth Medal for loyal service in 1953.

Mr High said: “She spent about a year teaching in post-war Germany, which she very much enjoyed and for which she always held very fond memories.

“Coming back to England, she got involved in teaching long-stay children, suffering from rheumatic diseases, TB, polio, etc., at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children in Carshalton.

“That led into more formal infant teacher training at the Froebel Institute and a career in teaching.”

Miss High held various teaching posts in infant schools in Surrey and West Sussex.

She never married, so when her parents retired and moved down to the south coast, she moved with them.

She eventually became head teacher at a school in Littlehampton before moving to Felpham Church of England Infant School, a small village school at the time.

Mr High said: “Margaret always had a great love of the countryside and animals, particularly dogs.

“She had a series of cocker spaniels, one of which became a daily feature at Bishop Tufnell School.

“Her cocker spaniels became a significant part of her life in Felpham after retirement.

“Sadly, after falling and breaking her hip in 2013, she never regained mobility but stayed in West Sussex at the Barnham Manor Nursing Home until her passing on April 13.”

The funeral service was held yesterday at St Mary’s Church, Felpham.