Sad death of respected Burnley, Pendle and Ribble Valley teacher

A popular and respected former headteacher who taught in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley has died after a short illness.

Mrs Alison Pile
Mrs Alison Pile

Mrs Alison Pile, who was born in Burnley and grew up in the Hibson Road area of Nelson, was well known throughout East Lancashire where she worked at various schools over several decades.

She died aged 63, just nine days after being diagnosed with cancer.

The respected teacher started her career at Reedley Primary School in 1979 after studying at Walton High School, where she was Head Girl in 1973-74, and York St John's College for her teaching degree.

Mrs Pile was headteacher of Healey Wood Primary School in Burnley and Grindleton Primary School Primary School during the 1990s. She also taught at Lord Street Primary in Colne and Higham Primary School.

Married to husband Graham, the couple lived in Fence for many years before moving to Ponteland in the North-East to be close to their accountant son Simon. The couple also have another son, Jonathan, who works for Apple in London as a movie and TV editor. She also leaves four grandchildren.

Mr Pile said: "Alison was very well-respected throughout the area, and knew lots of many people having worked at so many schools. She always believed you should only stay for six or seven years at one place before moving on, and she always progressed."

Indeed, after teaching she became a Small Schools Adviser for Lancashire and spent some time on the national committee for small schools. She then became a senior adviser for Lancashire, based in the north of the county at Lancaster dealing with mainly small schools across that rural area.

Finally, she moved to East Lancashire, based in Chorley, dealing with primary schools from Blackburn to Barnoldswick.

Graham added: "Alison was a bright and smiley person. Her diagnosis and short illness was obviously a great shock. She was angry and upset because she had so many plans, and had started a sewing and craft group in Ponteland. She also enjoyed baking character cakes for friends and family.

"Away from teaching, Alison was very proud of her family and enjoyed arts and crafts. She also played guitar and enjoyed visiting National Trust properties."

Mrs Pile was interred at Belsey woodland site on February 24th.