Former head of Sutherland House girls school at Cromer dies aged 88

A respected former headmistress of an independent girls' school in north Norfolk has died aged 88.

Margery Skipper, who was Mrs Lynskey when she was games mistress then head at Sutherland House School in Cromer for more than 30 years between 1958 and 1989, passed away peacefully at her Aldborough home after a short illness.

Born and brought up in Norwich as Margery Blyth she attended the former Dowson School before joining the Army at Colchester as a trainee physical training instructor, becoming a sergeant and then taking a teacher training course at Loughborough.

She joined Sutherland House on the Overstrand Road as games mistress Margery Mansfield in 1958, but was also well known for playing hockey for North Walsham Ladies and running evening classes in movement to music at many local venues.

In 1976, following the death of head Miss Gledhill, she took over the role, working with new husband Ken Lynskey, who was purser, until her retirement in 1989. The school thrived as a boarding and day school during her period in charge. It later merged to become Runton and Sutherland school at West Runton before closing in the 1990s and becoming an educational adventure centre.

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She was regarded as a surrogate mother by many pupils, was kind, and a good judge of character, who was treated with respect, said daughter Nicole.

Margery married retired GP Dr Colin Skipper in 2001. She enjoyed many interests including gardening and fundraising for the Cromer lifeboat and doing voluntary work at the town's cancer charity shop.

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She is survived by her husband, and two daughters Nicole and Sally, five grandchildren, and a great granddaughter.

A memorial service will take place on Friday October 26 at 2.30pm at Cromer Parish Church. Any donations to The Salvation Army, Cromer Lifeboat or Cancer Research via Fox's funeral directors, Cromer.

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