The daughter of a landlord, who never lost her childhood love of cycling, had died at the age of 89. 

Sheila Burroughs, whose bike was decorated with balloons when she retired as a village’s long-serving caretaker, lived her life one adventure after another. 

From childhood playdates to visiting a friend overseas, she was an advocate for her south Norfolk birthplace. 

So much so, she was once invited to represent Hapton, near Long Stratton, on a Radio Norfolk programme hosted by Norfolk bard and entertainer Keith Skipper.

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Sheila Agnes Woods was born at Hapton's White Horse pub on January 22, 1933. 

During the Second World War, she attended Hapton School and had to carry a gas mask with her every day.

As an adult, she recalled many happy memories of cycling to all of the village dances with her good friend, Joanie Falgate, and their many adventures. 

She was among the last cohort of children to leave school at the age of 14, before it closed.

Soon after, she began working at Levetons Fine Art Shop, then based on Norwich’s Timber Hill, where she remained until 1957. 

In 1954, her father William Robert Woods retired from being the landlord of the White Horse – which was also known as Hapton Hole – the family moved to nearby Hempnall. Here she met and married Daniel Eric Burroughs. 

Together they had four children; Janet, Malcolm, Heather, and Melanie. 

Aged 40, she took on the role of caretaker at Hempnall Primary School and worked there for 18 years before retiring in 1992 just before her 60th birthday.  

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To celebrate her retirement, she fulfilled a lifelong dream by traveling to America to visit a dear friend named Pam Youngs, who became a “GI bride”, a name for British women who emigrated after marrying a US serviceman previously stationed in Britain during the Second World War. 

Mrs Burroughs always enjoyed her childhood hobby of bike riding and continued to do so her entire life, riding to neighbouring villages and taking long walks with her dog in the countryside.  

Following a fall in 2014, she sustained a broken femur and hip. Despite her best efforts to regain her mobility she always needed to use a walking frame. 

She remained in Hempnall for the rest of her life, taking great enjoyment in her grandchildren Thomas, Belinda, Frances, Daniel, Alison, and Kathryn, and in 2020 when her first great grandchild, Isla, arrived. 

Mrs Burroughs died at the Norfolk and University Norwich Hospital on January 12, just 10 days short of her 90th birthday. 

A funeral will take place at St Margaret's church, Hempnall, on Friday, February 17 at 1.30pm.

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