Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Joan Pinner 1930-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Joan Pinner 1930-2012: News

Article excerpt

Joan Pinner was forced to abandon her youthful teaching ambitions in order to support her family. Such were the expectations of the time. But her childhood dream came true years later when her talent for working with children was spotted; she finally entered the profession in her late thirties.

Joan Speak was born and grew up in Burnley, Lancashire, the youngest of three children. Her father had been in a gas attack during the First World War and, as a result, he suffered from poor health and pneumonia for the rest of his life. He died young, having worked as a weaver and then a labourer for a textile machinery company.

Despite this loss, Joan excelled academically, winning a scholarship at what was then called Burnley High School for Girls. This meant she could stay on at school for longer than was common at the time - and it was here that she decided she wanted to be a teacher. But when Joan turned 16, her family could no longer afford for her to remain in education and she left school to earn a salary, taking up a position as a telephonist at the local post office and town hall.

At the age of 19 she married Vernon Pinner, who worked with her sister at a textile machinery company. The couple had two children: David in 1953 and Beverley two years later.

Mrs Pinner took on a variety of jobs while her children were young, including leaflet delivery and working on a fruit and vegetable stall. But when she became a dinner lady at Worsthorne Primary in Burnley, the school attended by her children, everything changed. …

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