We are very sad to report the death of Miss Beryl Ellinor, a greatly respected and well-loved teacher who taught Geography at Walthamstow Hall for 33 years until her retirement in 1990.
Miss Ellinor’s funeral was held at St Mary’s, Riverhead on Thursday 5 November. Miss Ellinor chose the hymns and readings for the service including, ‘O Lord my God, when I awesome wonder consider all the works Thy hand has made’ and Psalm 23.
The service was attended by a number of Miss Ellinor’s Walthamstow Hall colleagues and tributes from many of her former pupils were read out to the congregation. The tributes paint a wonderful picture of what an inspirational teacher Miss Ellinor was. A small selection are included below.
“She was a great teacher of geography and a great person.”
“Miss Ellinor made Geography interesting and enjoyable, with her sharp wit and sense of humour. I also remember her leading us up hill and down dale, indefatigable, on the field trip in the Lake District. Happy memories.”
“I loved Geography lessons with her – especially the 2–minute red herrings that she would time on her watch before resuming the lesson.”
“One of my favourite teachers. Remember her taking us on our A Level field trip to Newquay.”
“She was a terrific teacher! I still remember parts of my geography A level syllabus and I don’t remember much from those years! She put a Busy Lizzie plant on her desk in front of where I sat and told me it was to remind me to work hard! Great sense of humour!”
“I remember being taught by her – smiley face and twinkly eyes, a kind lady.”
“A lovely colleague and friend.”
“I remember Miss Ellinor so well. One of my favourite teachers.”
“Miss Ellinor inspired me to do a Geography degree. I have always loved the physical geography and remember our Geography field trip to Newquay and swimming in the freezing cold sea!”
“Miss Ellinor was wonderful.”
“Miss Ellinor expanded my horizons enormously and did so with wit, humour and style. I always thought that she balanced maintaining her decorum as a teacher yet also kept us on side.”
“Miss Ellinor was my favourite teacher and a true inspiration, encouraging a love of Geography and the reason I chose to read the subjects at uni. I remember her showing us some fabulous photos of her trip to Iceland. RIP and happy exploring Miss E.”
“Have always thought of her with respect and affection. She was an admirable woman and a great teacher.”
“Always loved her lessons and interest in her pupils.”
“A truly inspirational teacher and definitely one who took on the career as a vocation. Remember well the photographs she showed us of all her trips to far flung places. The passion with which she spoke of the physical geography features she saw was infectious.”
“I left in 1981 and have fond memories of her. She was fair and kind.”
“A lovely lady and wonderful colleague.”
“Miss Ellinor was the best. I loved every minute of her geography classes someone I’ve never forgotten. RIP dear lady.”
“Always thought of her as one of the best teachers I had.”
“A wonderful Geography teacher – helped inspire a life-long love of Geography for me.”
“ A brilliant Geography teacher! I remember how she used to talk about going pot holing. We were all very fond of her.”
“She was our Lower Fifth form teacher and although her subject wasn’t my favourite, I loved her as a teacher. Look at all the wonderful memories she has left us all with. I remember her being a fierce advocate of Wally and the education there, and that we didn’t have to follow the way other schools did things. As a 15-year-old I found this a bit frustrating but as a 50-year-old now finally stepping into teaching I really admire her stance, occasionally fierce but always fair and with a great sense of humour. RIP lovely Miss Ellinor.”
“A wonderful lady and a truly inspirational teacher with a wicked sense of humour.”
“Miss Ellinor taught me O Level and A Level Geography. I did really badly in my A Levels first time around and Miss Ellinor really helped and made sure I got the grade when I retook it in November! I went on to study Geography at university and am now a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. I remember when we used to do diagrams one of her catch phrases was, ‘let’s go dotty…!’ A wonderful lady.”
“So many wonderful memories. She was an inspirational teacher who really cared about each individual pupil.”
“Always fair and with a great sense of humour.”
“She was an outstanding teacher and a splendid human being. She had a sharp wit and a terrific sense of humour, as well as enormous knowledge and enthusiasm for her subject. I will always remember her with gratitude for the interest she took in me as a person, and her unobtrusive but no–nonsense mentoring of so many of the rebels-without-a-clue in Lower Fifth.”
“I was taught Geography by Miss Ellinor – I was hopeless at Geography and she had endless patience. Lovely lady.”
“Learned map reading with Miss Ellinor – walked all over the Lakes since so a very useful skill!”
“Lovely lady with a wicked sense of humour.”
“A wonderfully inspiring teacher, well liked and respected by all.”
Upon her retirement two of Miss Ellinor’s A Level Geography students bade here a fond farewell in CODA magazine.
“The end of last term marked an important date in the life of Miss Ellinor. She had left the school which she had loved and cared for for 33 years. We shall remember her for her cheerful greeting at the start of the lesson, which set us off on the right foot, even though double Geography on a Monday morning didn’t always seem the best way to start the week! Her unfailing enthusiasm and encouragement in her subject and her ability to always have faith in you singled her out as a very special member of staff. Despite a frequent string of excuses which followed her request for study, such as ‘I’m sorry I haven’t quite finished the essay, but I was doing my lunch duty!” she managed to remain cool and collected – it took a really persistent offender to make her lose her temper. However, one of her most endearing qualities was here willingness to apologise if she felt she was in the wrong, even if meant her admitting her fault in front of the class. In fact she was always prepared to see the funny side of a situation and would often give you the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the lesson, she would thank us as if it had been a privilege to teach such a rowdy group of teenagers and if anyone needed extra help, she was always there, even if she’d explained it many times before.
Perhaps, an image most suited to her, in the school, was that of Mrs Tiggywinkle, bustling around, with a smile for everyone. She certainly will be missed.”