Bernard Youngman: Decades of teaching in Norwich

A family tradition of teaching brought Bernard Youngman, who has died peacefully in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital aged 88, to Norwich.

He ended his 36-year career as a teacher in Norwich in April 1984 as the first headmaster of Mile Cross Middle School, which was then one of the city's largest junior and middle schools.

He left his 13 years at the school with deep respect for people in the Mile Cross area.

'The parents of our children are marvellous – very co-operative – and the children are as friendly as you can get,' he said.

Previously deputy head at the Avenue Junior School until 1971, he also taught at George White, Thorpe Hamlet, Dowson and Heartsease Junior Schools and Lakenham Secondary Modern.

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A specialist in mathematics and science, he was a past chairman of Norwich Mathematics Centre and taught modern maths at Norwich teachers' centre.

Born in Ipswich, he won a scholarship to Ipswich Grammar School.

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He joined the RAF for the duration, serving in radar, where he survived an air raid on Yarmouth. He had taken shelter in a church when a large figure of Jesus Christ fell, but the metal supports at the head and foot of the bed took the weight, saving him from certain injury or worse.

He qualified as a teacher at Liverpool after the war.

He joined his brother, Tom, who was also teaching in Norwich, with his wife, Ina.

He had married her younger sister, Janet, who had spent three years recovering from polio during the Second World War. They celebrated their golden wedding and lived for almost half a century at Welsford Road, Eaton Rise.

Mr Youngman, who was president of Norwich South Rotary Club in 1983, was also chairman of a caravan trust for 13 years, providing holidays for people who would otherwise not have had one.

A keen supporter of Round Table, he was also a member of the 41 Club and Probus, and was also a keen fundraiser for Corton House, where he later spent his final months.

In retirement, he became a keen bowler and member of Victoria Bowls Club and was known for always being prepared to help blind players play.

After he retired, he became involved in helping to promote the How Hill Study Centre at Ludham, which had been taken over by a trust after Norfolk County Council had closed it as an economy measure.

A keen painter in oils, who had gone to art classes to hone his natural talent, Mr Youngman enjoyed the opportunity to take easel into the countryside to sketch.

He was a regular worshipper at the United Reform Church, Princes Street, until just a couple of weeks ago.

His wife, Janet, died about four years ago.

He leaves a daughter, Carol, son Mark, and five grandchildren.

A funeral has taken place.

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