Bill Trett: Headmaster known as ‘Mr Toftwood’

For generations of children in the heart of Norfolk, headteacher Bill Trett, who has died peacefully aged 96, was 'Mr Toftwood'.

He was headmaster at Toftwood Primary School for 27 years. When he was appointed in 1950, there were just 98 children at the school and as the town expanded, the school roll increased four-fold to reach 472.

In 1976, when the school was split, he became the first headmaster of the middle school.

Born at Filby, he went to Duncan House School, Yarmouth, where he later returned for some of his first teaching. After a science course at St Luke's, Exeter, he went to the Central School, Crown Road, Dereham.

He served for the duration in Britain in the Royal Air Force as a fitter and armourer before resuming what was to become a teaching career spanning 40 years.

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In 1940, he had married Vera, who was also born in Filby. They were married for 68 years and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with diamond jubilee greetings from the Queen.

In March 1955, he was elected president of the Dereham & District Association of the National Union of Teachers.

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A keen gardener and founder member of the Dereham Canoe Club, he was presented with a spade and garden bench at his retirement in July 1977. His then deputy, Peter Billington, said at the time: 'His name has become synonymous with the school.'

His wife died in the summer 2008. He leaves two sons, Peter and Christopher, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. A serving of thanksgiving has been held at St Andrew's Church, Hingham, where Mr Trett had often sung in the choir over the years.

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