Long-serving dinner lady, Norwich's beloved 'Scottie' Mobbs, dies aged 96

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs pictured with a piper on her 95th birthday in September 2019

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs pictured with a piper on her 95th birthday in September 2019 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

A long-serving dinner lady who made Norwich her home for more than half a century has died at the age of 96.

Adelaide “Scottie” Mobbs (nee Holdcroft) was born in the Scottish village of Fairlie in North Ayrshire on September 27, 1924. 

Brought up by her grandparents and aunt, she described her childhood as a happy one spent walking the family’s three dogs on a nearby glen and by the sea.

The dogs would come to meet her every day when she returned home from the local school. 

Mrs Mobbs left school at the age of 14 and began her first job in a shop being paid around 10 shillings per week.


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A year later, in 1939, she heard the planes bomb Greenock, near Glasgow, and saw the flames from their garden.   

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs pictured in her WAAF uniform

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs pictured in her WAAF uniform - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

At 17, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as a barrage balloon operator and trained in all weathers in England and Wales. After D-Day, she went into radar training in Scotland and served at Cranwell in Lincolnshire, and Devero in Sussex.  

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Demobbed in 1946, she began working in Oxford Street, London, and in the city met her future husband Norman Mobbs at Wembley Stadium Speedway. That night he informed his colleagues she was the “the girl I am going to marry" and did so in November 1950. 

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs with Norman Mobbs on their wedding day November 1950

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs with Norman Mobbs on their wedding day November 1950 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

After they married, she took on the role of a supervisor in a nearby Woolworths, earning £5 per week.

Four years later, the couple were able to buy their first house in Plumstead Road East, Thorpe St Andrew, near Norwich, after saving up the deposit from Mrs Mobbs’ wage. Once in Norfolk, she quickly gained the affectionate nickname 'Scottie', which she loved.

The couple lived in the same house from 1954 to 1997, and had four children together – Iain, Mervyn, Norma, and Harriet. They also bought their first dog together, named “Lassie”, who arrived as a surprise to Mr Mobbs, who was not amused after she chewed his slipper and dressing gown sleeve. Many more dogs followed after Lassie.

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs commemorating VE 2020

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs commemorating VE in May 2020 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

When the children were young, the family enjoyed holidays together and often visited Mrs Mobbs' native Scotland, as well as Wales and Bournemouth.

While bringing up the children, she spent 13 years as a member of St John Ambulance and 24 years working as a dinner lady at Heartsease Primary school before retiring in the late 1980s.

From 1972 to the late 1980s, she held several coffee afternoons to raise money for local charities in and around Norwich.  

Mr Mobbs had to retire early due to ill health and as a result, the couple were able to travel all over the world to places including Australia, Canada, the United States of America, and Iceland. 

In 1997, the couple moved into a bungalow in nearby Heartsease Lane. Unfortunately, Mr Mobbs died just months later. 

Mrs Mobbs continued travelling around the world, visiting places including Vietnam, Thailand, Ireland, and her beloved Scotland. Up until early 2020, she could also be found walking her dogs on Mousehold Heath where fellow dog walkers and children from her time as a dinner lady would often recognise her. 

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs with her dog William on Household Heath circa 2011

Adelaide 'Scottie' Mobbs with her dog William on Household Heath circa 2011 - Credit: SUPPLIED BY FAMILY

Her family paid tribute to her, saying she would be "sadly missed by all".

They added: “She travelled worldwide, made many friends, and always had a tale to tell. 

"We intend to arrange a tribute with the council for a bench and plaque to be put along the walkway off Heartsease Lane, being the route she always took with her dog.”   

Mrs Mobbs died on February 24 at home with her family following a short illness.

She leaves behind her children and their families. Her funeral took place on April 7 and donations were accepted for The Street Children of Danang (Vietnam) charity. 

- To view all the obituaries and tributes join the Facebook group Norfolk's Loved & Lost.

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