Tributes to well known Lewes teacher

Popular teacher - Vera Forsdick received around 100 Christmas cards a year, many from former pupils.
Popular teacher - Vera Forsdick received around 100 Christmas cards a year, many from former pupils.

A much loved and familiar figure around Lewes town for many years has sadly died aged 103 at Barons Down nursing home.

Vera Forsdick, was born November 26, in 1910 to parents Emily and Harold (Harry), with an older sister, Gwen.

Originally from Goodmayes in Essex, she became a maths teacher after studying maths, English and Latin at university, teaching at independent schools for girls where she lived at school with boarders during the week and then went home at weekends to Lewes where she had moved with her parents.

Whist teaching she wore a suit with pockets – in one pocket she kept chalk and the other had pens.

She still wore a suit every day even after retiring and was a familiar figure around town in her smart tweed two piece – attending Southover Church every Sunday, the Riverside Club, and rarely missing a production at the Little Theatre.

After the war she taught at East Grinstead School for nearly 30 years, becoming department head.

In fact she was a much loved teacher – receiving over 100 cards for her birthday and the same at Christmas, many from former pupils.

She loved writing letters – she didn’t have a phone growing up and never used a computer as she retired before they were in common use.

Throughout her life Vera travelled widely, often around the UK and the Italian Lakes with childhood friend Dorothy.

A voracious reader, she was often found in local bookshops hoping to add to her local history collection.

Vera was one of the first women in Britain to get a mortgage and buy her own property. She lived in her flat in Grange Road, Lewes for many years regularly climbing the stairs to go out and about in town, even up to the age of 100, before she needed additional help and moved to Barons Down.

Vera was thrilled to get a card from the Queen to mark her 100th birthday and celebrated the grand century with a lunch party at the Pelham House Hotel, surrounded by relatives and close friends, in particular with her beloved nephew, David Reed and cousin, Rowan Planterose.

What did she think about reaching 100?

She said: “Well I just go on. I never expected to live so long and reach this far. But I take each day as it comes, try to stay active and do The Daily Telegraph crossword every day.”

She will be much missed by her family but remembered as a fascinating, caring, selfless and wonderful lady who lived a full life, dedicated to her teaching career and her pupils.