Tributes paid to former Midhurst headmistress

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Pamela Evans, who was headmistress of Midhurst Grammar School from 1972 until retirement in 1983, has died. She was 91.

She was a resident at Pendean Nursing Home, where she died on Monday last week.

Tributes have been paid by a number of people who worked with her during her 11 years at the helm of the school, which was the forerunner of the present academy, Midhurst Rother College.

She has been described as a headmistress of the old style, always immaculate, yet possessing a real sense of fun.

Former teachers John Newman and Ed Austin said Miss Evans was willing to trust her staff and delegate, and she made the school a ‘happy and successful place to work and study’. They added: “She was an intelligent and knowledgeable woman, and in the assemblies she did, she frequently displayed an encyclopedic knowledge of saints!”

The school’s former youth and community tutor, Colin Hughes, said: ”She will be remembered as a bright and joyful person.”

Dr Joe Vitaliano, head of Midhurst Rother College, is a former pupil of Midhurst Grammar, where he became head boy.

He recalled: “She was clear in pointing out my responsibilities while guiding me in the way I could carry them out. Midhurst Grammar School changed for the better in the five years I was there, from 1973-78, and from my adult memories I can only attribute this to her headship.” 

Miss Evans was a former head of history at Hove Grammar School and, following a six-week study tour of the USA funded by a scholarship from the English Speaking union, she became head of the prestigious Henrietta Barnet school in Hampstead. From there, she was appointed to lead Midhurst Grammar School.

Active in drama before and after arriving at Midhurst, she produced several plays for St Mary’s Church, Easebourne.

Following retirement she became an active member of the church, singing in the choir and serving as churchwarden for six years.

Her funeral is at Easebourne church on Monday (June 25) at 2pm.