Former Girls’ School head dies

HEADTEACHER: Mrs Molly Dearing (S)
HEADTEACHER: Mrs Molly Dearing (S)

A FORMER head of Burnley Girls’ High School, Mrs Winifred Dearing, has died aged 95.

Mrs Dearing, who was known as Molly, was a physics specialist. She was the school’s head for 11 years until her retirement in 1977.

Her scientific acumen was identified during the Second World War when she was recruited to work on the development of the radar defence network as one of Sir Watson Watt’s “Bright Young Things” in the Women’s Royal Air Auxiliary. She resigned her commission in 1943 after marrying her late husband, Ernest, and to bring up her three children.

Mrs Dearing’s association with Burnley Girls’ High School began 10 years later. She had read physics at Leeds and taken a diploma in education before her war work, and she joined the staff at the school in Ormerod Road before it moved to Kiddrow Lane. In later years she was deputy head, and was appointed head in 1966.

Mrs Dearing and her husband moved from Burnley to Read after their sons, Basil and Barry, who are both solicitors, and daughter Barbara, a retired balloonist, graduated, and spent many happy years in the village in their retirement.

They were enthusiastic supporters of Read Show, and had a keen rivalry in competitions. A keen plantswoman Mrs Dearing had a prize-winning garden, the home of Erasmus, her pet tortoise, and she also enjoyed playing whist at Read Constitutional Club and going to the Methodist church in Padiham.

One of her greatest pleasures was being in the company of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and visiting members of her family who had retired to Cornwall.

When Mr Dearing’s health began to deteriorate she nursed for a long time before he died. Her own health began to fail three years ago an she moved to Spring Cottages, in Padiham, where she died last Wednesday.

Mrs Dearing’s funeral is at 10-40am on Monday at Burnley Crematorium. The family has asked for any donations in her memory to be given to the RNLI.