Tributes were paid to a woman who was the heart and soul of her village.
Ann English passed away suddenly but peacefully on May 19 in her Whissonsett home at the age of 83. A popular member of many societies and organizations in and around the village, she had lived in Whissonsett for 38 years.
The mother of four was born in Shipdham on February 22, 1938, to parents Jack and Vella. His grandparents ran the King’s Head pub in Shipdham.
She attended Shipdham School and later Dereham High School. She was very good at art, but her parents persuaded her to teach instead of going to art college.
She taught at Weasenham School for two years before meeting her husband Antony Scammell by chance when he opened a letter Ann had sent to the British Army looking for a pen pal. Ann fled to Jersey with Anthony where they were married in 1958.
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Ann moved to Bristol, Somerset, and quickly started a family, with four children Julian, Tamsin, Edmund and Thomas. Besides being a very busy housewife, Ann worked part time as a cook and pursued her hobbies including painting, writing and crafts.
Ann returned to Norfolk in 1983 with her son Thomas and settled in Whissonsett and married Peter English a year later.
Ann devoted her time over the next four decades to associations, societies, clubs and village projects. She was the clerk of the parish councils of Whissonsett and Beetley, and a popular reader for the Fakenham Talking Times.
She was commissioned to paint many scenes of local villages and farms, and along with her husband, Peter was a long-time member and competitor of the Whissonsett and Fakenham horticultural associations. She has also written a prolific number of letters and articles for local newspapers and made contributions to charity.
Ann’s greatest effort was to compile a massive historical record of Whissonsett and its people.
She became the contact for anyone seeking information about their ancestors who had lived in the village at any time. These records will be donated to the church and possibly uploaded to the Internet for future use and enjoyment.
Her funeral will be at St Mary’s Church, Whissonsett and Mintlyn Crematorium. Donations in his memory are collected for the Brisley Age Concern Group and can be made through Fakenham and District Funeral Services Ltd.