Holbrook: Tributes paid to ‘remarkable’ and ‘respected’ former head teacher

HOLBROOK: A “remarkable” lifelong resident and former headteacher of the village primary school has died aged 102.

Cicely Godbold, nee Nunn, dedicated much of her life to projects in Holbrook.

She was the first headteacher of Holbrook Primary School in 1954, a founding member of the village’s Women’s Institute, a member of the church choir and a former parish councillor and clerk.

“She was a remarkable woman of her time,” said Marion Leeson, 79, a former chairman of Holbrook Parish Council.

“Being the headteacher kept her apart – it’s bit like being a policeman – from making close friends in the village.

“She did so well in her life. It was sad she did not have children, but she achieved so much in the village. She was someone you could not help respecting.”

Mrs Leeson said Cicely first moved to Holbrook when she was just six weeks old to live with a foster family.

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After leaving Holbrook School as an 18-year-old, she underwent teacher-training before arriving at Holbrook Primary via a stint at Nacton School.

Current Holbrook Parish Council chairman Simon Page was in his final year at Holbrook Primary in 1969, the year Cicely retired.

His family have a consistent link with Cicely – his father Peter, who still lives in Holbrook, was taught by her, while his grandmother, Phyllis Cooper, went to school with her.

He said: “As a young person, she was our headmistress and very strict, but there was a more human side to her and the more you go through life you realise she had the children’s interests at heart.”

Another former pupil, Jo Rose, who works as a teaching assistant at Holbrook Primary, said: “She was a very upright lady, who I remember as having eyes in the back of her head.

“She could be writing on the blackboard or playing the piano and still know who was talking.”

Cicely, formerly of Reade Road, died at Orwell House Care Home in Holbrook on May 13.

Her funeral is being held at 2.30pm today at All Saints Church, Holbrook.

n What memories do you have of Cicely? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail to eveningstar letters@eveningstar.co.uk

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