Joan Bingham: Norfolk education officer and long-serving churchwarden

One of Norfolk's top education officers and a long-serving churchwarden, Joan Bingham, has died after a long illness aged 91.

She had made a special contribution to education over four decades and held in the highest regard by generations of teachers and head teachers for her ability to inspire and encourage.

When she retired in July 1980, dozens of teachers marked her retirement at a reception at the Hewett School, Norwich, as senior assistant education officer for primary and nursery schools.

She had started teaching at Romford in her home county of Essex in 1941. Later she was head of two schools in the county at Downham and Basildon Manor junior school before moving to Norfolk as assistant director of education for Norwich in 1965.

She was churchwarden at St Mary's Church, Hellesdon, where she held other posts including secretary to the friends. She kept a close interest in the church despite her failing health and was a generous supporter of the fund to build a recent extension.

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A keen choral singer, she worked for many years with the choir. She learned to play the lute and classical guitar in addition to her first instrument, the piano.

For many years, she was honorary area secretary, fundraiser and a voluntary visitor for the Royal United Kingdom Beneficent Association, now the charity for supporting elderly people, Independent Age.

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A service will be held at St Faith's Crematorium on Monday, November 19 at 2pm followed by a memorial service at St Mary's Church, Hellesdon, at 3pm.

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