A former Penrith headmistress celebrates her 100th birthday today.
Sylvia Windle taught at Tynefield School for almost 20 years.
Miss Windle, who continues to live in Penrith, has been described by a former pupil as a “remarkable woman” having been headmistress, a member of Penrith Golf Club for 54 years, a justice of the peace and chairman of the Bench at Penrith Magistrates’ Court, WI member, Girlguiding leader and church choir singer throughout her life.
Born at Nelson near Burnley, Lancashire, on 16th December, 1920, Miss Windle was the only child of John and Sarah Windle and her father worked in a local mill.
She was educated at the grammar school in Nelson and went on study at teaching college. Her first teaching post was in her hometown where she was a secondary school teacher specialising in history and English.
Miss Windle’s move to Eden came when she was appointed headmistress of the former Tynefield School in Penrith.
She initially lived in Great Salkeld, moving to Penrith’s Carleton Heights around 23 years ago.
The former headmistress remembers the time fondly, saying she very much enjoyed her time at the school. She was known to be well-respected by staff and pupils alike and often accompanied pupils on trips abroad.
On her retirement the Herald reported that she was presented with a lawn mower, a golf club, a handbag and a cheque by the senior mistress, Miss Elizabeth Burne.
Head girl Sara Green also gave Miss Windle a radio cassette recorder.
In her retirement Miss Windle played at Penrith Golf Club.
She was also an active parishioner at both St. Andrew’s Church and Christ Church in Penrith and sang in a church choir.
Former Tynefield pupil Catherine Rostron, nee Relph, has remained in contact with Miss Windle over the years and said she remembers her as “forthright, astute and always interested in her pupils both at school and after leaving.”
Last week, Miss Windle said she was looking forward to receiving her 100th birthday card from the Queen and will celebrate with friends Gwen and Ken Ferguson with whom she has formed a support bubble during COVID-19 restrictions.
Friends she has formed throughout her many interests in life will also be visiting to wish her happy birthday from outside her home.
Mrs Ferguson said she believes the secret to Miss Windle’s long life is that she has remained independent and active throughout, always doing everything for herself.
Miss Windle added that she loved living in Eden thanks to the pleasant weather and people, making it a nice area to live.