Former Worsthorne school teacher dies

Joan Pinner
Joan Pinner

A RETIRED village school teacher, who was loved and respected by generations of children, has died at the age of 82.

Mrs Joan Pinner (right) did not begin her teaching career until she was 37 when her potential was spotted by the former headmaster at Worsthorne Primary School, Mr James Clitheroe. Mrs Pinner was working as a dinner lady and Mr Clitheroe noticed her rapport with the children and organisational skills and asked her if she had ever thought about becoming a teacher.

It has always been a dream of Mrs Pinner’s but her family could not afford for her to train as a girl even though she was bright and talented, attending Burnley High School where she studied until she was 16 after winning a scholarship to complete her General Certificate.

As a mature student, Mrs Pinner, the youngest of three children who grew up in the Ightenhill area of Burnley, studied at college in Manchester, making the daily journey by train for three years until she qualified. And her first and only job was at Worsthorne Primary School where she taught for 22 years.

Mrs Pinner’s daughter, Mrs Beverley West, said: “The headteacher made sure there was a job for mum at the school by taking on other teachers on short-term contracts until she was ready to begin. She loved teaching and it was wonderful that she had the opportunity to pursue her dream when so many of her peers didn’t get that chance.”

Mrs Pinner taught many children in the village and, in some cases, went on to teach their children. She became hugely popular and well respected. Known for her firm but fair approach, Mrs Pinner also had a great sense of humour and fun. She also gave up a lot of her free time to take the children to netball and rounders matches at the weekend. Mrs West added: “Mum was always a happy and cheerful person and she retained that right until the end of her life. She was very selfless and her family were her life but people were always drawn to her because of her lovely caring personality.”

Married to her husband Vernon for 68 years, the couple had enjoyed holidays to Austria and cruises during their retirement until Mrs Pinner began suffering from Alzheimer’s five years ago. A former telephonist at Burnley Town Hall, Mrs Pinner had also worked for Greenhalgh’s fruit and vegetable stall in Burnley Market Hall. Mrs Pinner also leaves her son David, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A funeral service will take place on Wednesday at 3-40pm at Burnley Crematorium. There is a request for family flowers only but donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Care and Research c/o of Hartley Foulds Funeral Service, 230 Colne Road, Burnley.