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 University scholars came to him for discussion and the opportunity to use his unpublished materials.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 We reserve the right to edit copy for length and style.

Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam