Death of Cromer woman whose poaching past was highlighted by TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

A well-known Cromer woman whose varied life ranged from being a private school matron to a poacher, has died aged 69.

Barbara Blyth was matron at Sutherland House school in the 1970s, but when it closed she switched to working on the land.

With times hard, and two children to bring up, she supplemented her income by identifying rabbit and hare runs, setting snares and returning in the evening to collect her catch.

Her exploits were featured by television chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall in his Cook on the Wild Side series.

Mrs Blyth, who was born in Norwich the daughter of cobbler Stanley Dyer, met husband David, a News reporter, on Valentine's Day 1989 and they married in December later that year.

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She also enjoyed writing, penning theatre reviews for the local press, and wrote a yet-unpublished novel called The Norfolk Fix about the local drugs scene.

Mrs Blyth worked as a kitchen hand in Gasche's restaurant at Weybourne, Constantia Cottage restaurant and Fishing Boats pub in East Runton, and had spells at the YP clothes shops in Sheringham and Cromer, as well as running the Snackaway delicatessen in Hamilton Road in the early 1980s.

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She played darts for Cromer Social Club and bowls at Weybourne and Pinewoods.

Mrs Blyth died at her Howards Hill Close home after a long illness. She leaves a daughter Debbie, son Desmond, sister Karen and stepson and stepdaughter, eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

A funeral will be at St Faiths Crematorium on Friday April 27 at 1.15pm.

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