A centenarian whose lifelong love of mathematics saw her achieve top marks for an A-Level during her 80s, has died aged 101. 

Settling in Norfolk 45 years ago, Barbara Beare became a well-known friendly face in her hometown of Sheringham

As well as cementing herself in the seaside community, she was always generous with sharing the tales and adventures she experienced on her travels around the world.

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)

Born Barbara Frances Dimmock on September 6, 1921, in Claygate, Surrey, she was the only child of Leslie William Dimmock and Ethel May Money. 

She grew up on the outskirts of London in Surbiton and Kingston, and from a young age enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, dancing, and ice-skating. 

She also enjoyed the many get-togethers with her cousins and family Christmases at her father’s native Brockenhurst in the New Forest, Hampshire. 

The family loved travelling on the railways and would holiday throughout Europe and Britain. 

She excelled at school, especially at maths, and eventually went to college to learn Pitman’s shorthand and typing.

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)

After this, she worked for Cunard-White Star Line and then the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company in central London.  

She was working in Trafalgar Square during the outbreak of the Second World War, and it was during this time she also learnt to drive, recalling many near misses with bombs while jumping on any transport in any direction to get home to Kingston.  

Her work was eventually evacuated in 1940 out to Maidenhead and here she met her future husband, Henry Beare. The couple married in March 1948.  

After several years saving and looking for a plot of land, they had Widegates built near Maidenhead Thicket, based on a design they had seen in Ideal Home Magazine.  

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)

Ready for a new challenge, Mrs Beare studied crafts, woodwork, and weaving at Maidenhead Technical School. 

The couple's daughter Sarah was born in December 1955 and that following summer, Mrs Beare was busy laying a course of bricks for the new garage in between the baby’s four-hourly feeds. Topper the dog helped by guarding the pram.  

The couple's son, Paul, was born in November 1958 and by this time, Mr Beare was working for Cookham Rural District Council as a chief accountant. 

Holidays remained an important part of Mrs Beare’s life and many were spent driving to see the Beare family at beach gatherings in the South Hams of Devon and also at Saltdean, near Brighton, where her parents had retired to. 

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)

Throughout the 1970s, the couple explored further afield travelling to places including South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the Norwegian coast into the Arctic Circle. 

The family also holidayed in north Norfolk, and the couple would eventually move to Sheringham in 1977 following Henry’s early retirement. He died in August 1981. 

Paying tribute, the family said: “Barbara embraced living in Sheringham and volunteered at the RNLI shop. 

“She learnt German for her several exchange trips to Ottendorf [Sheringham's twin town] and continued intrepid worldwide travel. There are only a few countries that she did not visit.  

“She often gave talks with slides to the Townswomen's Guild about countries she had been to and the people she met.  

“She was always busy attending classes and lectures and working at different crafts. 

“She also loved quizzes, puzzles, playing Scrabble with her friends, walking her dog, and sea bathing.” 

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)

She was also a talented artist. 

During her eighties, she decided to test her lifelong love of mathematics and enrolled in an A-Level. She got an A grade.

Mrs Beare spent her final years at Bilney Hall near Dereham. She died on March 20, aged 101. Her funeral took place on Tuesday April 11. She leaves behind her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 

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Eastern Daily Press: Paintings by Barbara BearePaintings by Barbara Beare (Image: Barbara Beare)

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)

Eastern Daily Press: Barbara BeareBarbara Beare (Image: Submitted)