Lives Remembered: Peter Northeast & Caroline Briscoe


Peter Northeast

Few pupils at Rattlesden primary school near Bury St Edmunds during the long headship of Peter Northeast, who died on 29 August, will have realised what a fine scholar guided their early years, but surely their English benefited. Peter, never a graduate, but a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, had over many years transcribed thousands of medieval Suffolk wills in Latin and English. He published the Tudor churchwardens' accounts of Boxford as well as the wills of the Baldwyne register at Bury, 1439-74, the second volume of which will be launched in July next year. Thus three volumes published by the Suffolk Records Society will bear his name as author and editor.

Born on 29 January 1930, he was the Society's secretary for six years around 1990, working hard for far longer, and becoming a vice-president both of the Records Society and of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. He was either Secretary or Chairman of the Suffolk Local History Council for many years.

Peter was a tireless worker, meticulous and thorough, but always willing to neglect his own programme to help others; nobody was more generous with their time and energies in that cause. University scholars came to him for discussion and the opportunity to use his unpublished materials. He was also an equal partner in other works, notably a History of Suffolk in 1985 and Decoding Flint Flushwork on Suffolk and Norfolk Churches in 2005. His detailed knowledge of life and death in medieval Suffolk and of Suffolk churches was unrivalled.

He was a devoted family man who will be greatly missed by his wife Judy and their three children and six grandchildren. The garden of Green Pightle at Hightown Green, Rattlesden, was Judy's creation and their home was a warmly welcoming place for all. His cheerfulness and good humour persisted during his brave four-year fight against disabling illness, and to the end his mind was clear and alert to new discoveries in East Anglian history. His voluminous notes, photocopied extracts and transcripts, destined to become "The Northeast Collection", will undoubtedly prove an invaluable resource for future historians.

David Dymond and John Blatchly

Caroline Briscoe

Doris Caroline Briscoe died peacefully on 25 July, 10 days before her 99th birthday. Born on 5 August 1910 to George and Ada Castle, she was very proud of her father's career as an engine driver and of his promotion to an A1 Class Driver of Locomotives, including the Royal Scotsman.

She was educated at Queen Anne's Grammar School in York and at Manchester University, where she was awarded a First Class Honours degree in organic ohemistry, followed by a masters degree. She then chose a career in education and, having originally taught in Birmingham and Liverpool, was appointed in 1953 as headmistress of Rotherham High School, from which post she moved in 1959 to become the first headmistress of Crewe County Grammar School, where she stayed until her retirement in 1969.

Former staff and pupils in each school still remember her with great respect and comment on the high standards she expected and followed – including her own linen napkin with her packed lunch on a school outing. Many had remained in regular contact with her.

She was an accomplished sportswoman and, in addition to horse riding, she played cricket and hockey for Manchester University and hockey for England, each in the name of Castle.

In 1962 Caroline Castle married a local school principal, John Briscoe, which caused quite a stir in their respective schools. She announced her forthcoming marriage initially to the staff and then to all the girls without the staff. At first there was a stunned silence, until she told them to take a break outside where every one of the girls was given an ice-cream !

Eventually, they both retired to live in a listed Long house in Parracombe, North Devon. Until shortly before her admission to Eastleigh Care Home in Minehead, where she was looked after very well until her death, Caroline Briscoe had amazing knowledge and memories of her former pupils their achievements and families. She will live on in the memories of hundreds throughout the world.

Jean Macfarlane

If you would like to contribute an obituary of a friend, family member or colleague, please send a piece of no more than 500 words to Obituaries, The Independent, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF, by fax to 020 7005 2399 or by email to obituaries@independent.co.uk. We reserve the right to edit copy for length and style.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?