Tributes paid to talented Hartlepool teacher

Winsome Douglas was a former deputy head teacher and artist in Hartlepool.
Winsome Douglas was a former deputy head teacher and artist in Hartlepool.

A former Hartlepool teacher who gave decades to the world of education has been remembered by a dear friend.

Winsome F Douglas, taught in Hartlepool for over 40 years, starting at Dyke House School in 1940 where she rose to the rank of deputy headteacher.

A well-known figure in Hartlepool, Miss Douglas sadly died aged 97 at the town’s Warrior Park Care Home on December 28, 2016.

Miss Douglas was also a skilled artist, known for her art and needlework. She had three books published on the subject in the 1950s by Mills and Boon called Discovering Embroidery, Let me Embroider and Embroidery.’

Paying tribute to her, friend June Markwell told the Hartlepool Mail: “She was a very talented lady who inspired so many over her long life.”

Born in Hartlepool in 1919 as an only child, Miss Douglas gained a place at St Hild’s (female) Teacher Training College Durham University, where she graduated in geography.

Artwork created by Winsome Douglas

Artwork created by Winsome Douglas

Her first teaching job was at Dyke House School, where she worked during the Second World War, accompanying youngsters who were being evacuated from Hartlepool to their new homes in Skelton.

It was also at the school where she initiated and set up the National Needlework Scheme for Schools with Dorothy Allsopp.

This saw her travel extensively France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, and Sweden, adding to the National Needlework Scheme.

The 11 years prior to her retirement were served at Henry Smith Grammar School, an amalgamation of seven schools, as deputy head where she inspired both staff and students.

As well as her accomplishments in needlework and art, Miss Douglas also enjoyed card games, playing weekly with her friends. Sport was another love and she was known to play both outdoor and indoor bowls and tennis.

In later life, she rode a motorised scooter in Seaton Carew, driving on the road to the shops and seeing her friends.

Her friend June added: “Winsome was a talented teacher and accomplished lady, whose work spoke for itself.

“She was small in stature but large in presence.

“Her size four shoes left a very large footprint.

“She was known by a great many people for her accomplishments and was loved by many in our town where she lived throughout her long life.”