Sad passing of incredible member of the school community in Lewes

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Western Road Community Primary School are mourning the loss of a key member of staff, Mrs Cris Winter. She passed away on July 14 from cancer, at the age of 67.

Cris Winter was a key member of the school community. As the school administrator for an astounding 35 years, Cris saw many changes over the years, including a number of headteachers, staff and Governors.

Cris started working at Western Road Community Primary School in October 1988 when the school was based on its original site at Western Road, Lewes. The school then grew and moved to its existing site on Southover High Street, Lewes, opposite the Grange Gardens.

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During her 35 years in the role, Cris helped over 1,000 children and their families to settle into school. She always had spare uniform in one of her many cupboards, along with plimsolls, water bottles and numerours things 'just in case'. Cris kept a box of toys, teddies and books in her office and we often saw children with her, having a quiet chat and much-needed TLC whilst playing with lions and tigers to help settle any nerves. She was always on hand with plasters and ice packs, finding that a glass of special water (cold, from the water cooler) was often the best medicine and the fixer of most ailments.

Cris WinterCris Winter
Cris Winter

Cris always looked forward to charity and dressing up days, most notably dressing at Mary Poppins for World Book Day. She ran a lunchtime book club, reading to younger children in the library and enthalling them with different voices. Until quite recently, she was an active member of Friends of Western Road, helping to raise much-needed funds to support the school, including helping at the Artist and Makers Fair in Lewes Town Hall each December.

Cris ensured all Year 6 children had their best start to each morning during SATS week, with a slap-up breakfast that she would personally source and oversee. She would top this off by organising the Year 6 barbeque to celebrate the end of assessment week, ensuring everyone at enough sausages and ice-cream to suitably mark the occasion. Not one to sit still, Cris would often then accompany the Year 6 class on their residential trips to PGL and Bowles, delighting everyone with her adventurous spirit.

Cris was an incredible lady. She had so many stories to tell, of her travels, her work, families she knew, the school history and her beloved grandchildren, Dylan and Izzy. Cris listened to everyone, helping them and supporting them immeasurably. She was always there, with tissues or tea or chocolate or whatever was needed at that moment. Cris will be sorely missed by everyone at Western Road.

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Cris's family welcomes everyone from the Western Road Community, past and present, and anyone who would like to pay their respects. Her funeral will be held at St Anne's Church, Lewes, at 3pm on Tuesday, 8th August 2023. The cremation at Woodvale in Brighton will follow, before the wake which will be held at the Con Club, Lewes, afterwards. Cris's family have asked for family flowers only on the day.

If you would like to make a donation to Cris' tribute supporting Cancer Research UK, please visit