Tributes to 'wonderful' school head who loved to see children learn

Peter Hamlin

Peter Hamlin, the former head of Hemblington School, who has passed away aged 82 - Credit: The Hamlin Family

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved village headteacher who inspired generations of pupils.

Peter Hamlin, who has passed away peacefully at the age of 82, became the head of Hemblington Primary School at Blofield Heath, near Norwich, in 1968, where he stayed for 17 years.

Born in Manchester on June 6, 1939, Mr Hamlin was educated at Manchester Grammar school and Chester College.

His daughter Sarah, 54, said: "Dad went into teaching because he believes that all children deserved a rounded education suited to the needs of each child. He was not a fan of sausage machine education.

"He also believed that early years education was paramount in developing a future person and that it was essential that a child should be able to develop basic education and life skills before leaving primary if they were to flourish in secondary education."

Picture of Hemblington Primary School which is the 41st most improved school in the country and 129t

Peter Hamlin, who has passed away, was head at Hemblington Primary School from 1968 - '85 - Credit: Archant

Mr Hamlin's charges were taught French as he believed all children should be introduced to languages from a very early age. 

Mr Hamlin was supported by the Butterfly Volunteers as he neared the end of his life in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

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Co-ordinator Caroline Stevens, now 47, was a pupil at Hemblington from 1978 - 86.

"It was such a privilege to be able to tell him the difference that he made to so many people," she said. 

"We've got such fond memories of him, he was an outstanding headteacher."

Social media professional Rachel Canfor-Wood, now 53, attended Hemblington from 1972 - '78.

"He was firm but fair," she said of Mr Hamlin. "He just had a real passion for making sure everyone reached their potential.

"He loved education, he loved seeing people learn and grow and flourish. He was a truly wonderful man."

After leaving Hemblington in 1985, Mr Hamlin went onto be a schools inspector but did not always enjoy the politicisation of education.

Away from work, he was a keen cricketer, golfer and all round sportsman playing cricket for Vauxhall Mallards and golf at Caister where he was a member of the Myhill team, and Sprowston where he captained the club.

Mr Hamlin, of Blofield Heath, passed away in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on Monday, May 23.

He leaves a wife, Barbara, children John and Sarah and grandchildren Hannah, Jack, Millie and Harry.

His funeral is being held at Horsham St Faith Crematorium on Friday, June 10 (3.30pm). Family flowers, donations to the Alzheimer's Society.