Centenarian teacher Dulcie Bamber is remembered with fondness by ex-pupils

Emneth Infants School teacher Dulcie Bamber with her class.

Emneth Infants School teacher Dulcie Bamber with her class. - Credit: Archant

An appeal to help track down pupils of a former Emneth teacher who is celebrating her 100th birthday later this month has prompted a number of replies including one from Australia.

The Wisbech standard published the appeal launched by local photographer Roger Rawson who explained the aim was to find as many former pupils as possible who were taught by Dulcie Bamber at Emneth Infants School to help celebrate the landmark birthday.

it was hoped in particular to track down Richard Hayes, who when a youngster at the school, presented Miss Bamber with some flowers when she retired in 1971.

Miss Bamber, who never married, worked at the school from 1933 and is now in a care home in Wisbech where she will celebrate her century with her younger brother and sister who are both in their 90s.

Wisbech Lions are donating a cake and organisers want as many people as possible who knew to either go along or send a message.

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The Standard’s appeal landed a number of memories of Miss Bamber as well as birthday wishes.

Among them was one from Norman Putterill, who lives in Sydney, Australia, who wrote: “Yipee ki yay 100 today! Happy birthday,congratulations.”

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Susan Seals and Christine Swinden said: “We have seen your article in the Wisbech Standard. We both remember being taught at Emneth by Miss Bamber in the 1950s. We remember her with fondness and wish her a very happy 100th birthday.”

While Malcolm Collier, from Gosmoor Lane, Elm, shared his memory: “i remember she had an assistant called ‘Blackie’. Blackie was a glove puppet and he would indicate who was to answer questions. At the end of the session, Blackie would point out those of us who had been good and we would then creep into Miss Cowlbeck’s area of the classroom for the next lesson. Miss Norse was the headteacher.

“I worked at Miss Bamber’s House in 1972 when I was working with Eastern Gas, and Miss Bamber remembered me. We sat talking over tea and biscuits for about hour and a half, she wanted to know what I had been doing and what happened to some class mates she could remember. When I mentioned Blackie, she went to the sideboard and brought out a shoe box. Inside the box was Blackie, threadbare, battered and fragile, so he remained in the box. Thank you Miss Bamber.”

Sally-Ann Thomas nee Wenlock also wrote in: “I have just read the article in the Wisbech Standard requesting people who were taught by Miss Bamber, to come forward. Both myself and my sister Deborah (Wenlock) were, myself in approximately 1959 and my sister in approximately 1965. My husband’s family Jean, Betty-Ann, Bobby and Robert Thomas (of Thomas’s Garage Emneth) must also have been. Unfortunately two of the sisters are now deceased, but my husband must have been taught by Miss Bamber in approximately 1954 and his surviving sister in approximately 1944.”

Were you taught by Miss Bamber? If so contact Mr Rawson on Facebook or by emailing john.elworthy@archant.co.uk.

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