Former teacher of German at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School is remembered with great fondness

The late Mrs Anne Wilkinson.
The late Mrs Anne Wilkinson.
Share this article

A popular former teacher of German who loved to travel and who was an active member of the local community has died aged 77.

Mrs Anne Wilkinson, was born Anne Hopkins on May 6th, 1941, during the Second World War, after her family had been evacuated to Bedford from Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. She often referred to herself being a “War Baby” in reference to her good appetite and why she always cleared her plate!

The Hopkins family originated from Dorset, and Anne was very fond of her southern roots. Her family moved to Barrow-in-Furness when she was 17 after her father was appointed headmaster of a secondary school there.

Anne had a younger brother, David Frederick Hopkins, in later life known as Clyde Hopkins, and, as a child, Anne was a keen Girl Guide who went to the 1957 Girl Guide Jamboree.

Studying German at university in Bristol, Anne spent a year in Hanover, Germany, where she met some great German friends. While at Bristol University she also met her future husband Roger Wilkinson and they got married in 1964.

After leaving university, Anne worked for a few years in both Southsea in Portsmouth, and in Bristol. She moved to Lancashire in 1966 and worked for a few years at Accrington Girls’ High School, before starting to teach at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School around 1970.

Anne and Roger, who she separated from in 1998 after 35 years of marriage, had two children Paul in 1972 and Clare in 1974. She would later become a grandmother-of-three to Victoria, Emma and Max.

Taking a break to bring up her children, Anne returned to CRGS in 1983 and worked there until retiring in 2001.

A popular teacher, who was always enthusiastic and professional, she arranged and led a school trip to the Mosel region of Germany every year.

Anne also taught adult evening classes for many years and arranged a popular annual “German Day” at Whalley Adult Education Centre.

A Christian, who had a strong faith her whole life, she has been an active member of St James’s Church congregation for the past 50 years and was a regular member of both the church’s House Group and choir.

Throughout her life, Anne’s enthusiasm for GirlGuiding never waned and she was an active member of the Trefoil Guild (later Clover Club) for many years, and was the chairwoman of the Clover Club for several years.

An active member of the local community, Anne delivered Meals on Wheels to the elderly and read for the Talking Newspaper.

Dearly loved by all her family, Anne enjoyed many holidays and spent Christmas with her son and daughter in Denmark and London where they lived.

Her son Paul, a lawyer, has lived in Denmark for the last 16 years with his family, and previously lived in Burkina Faso, while her daughter Clare, an accountant, has lived in London for the last 15 years, and previously lived in Australia.

As well as visiting her children in Australia, Africa and Denmark, Anne also undertook three pilgrimages to the Middle East with a church group, which she loved. She also enjoyed numerous trips to Europe.

Another great love of Anne’s life was her dogs, and in her adult life she had four – Simon, Joss, Tess and Holly.

A great nature and theatre lover, Anne also enjoyed walking and doing crosswords, playing Scrabble and reading.

She was also a great home cook. Anne’s brother David, who was a successful artist and whom Anne was very close to, sadly passed away earlier this year.

Anne’s funeral will be held at St James’s Church in Clitheroe at noon on Monday and will be followed by a woodland burial at Clitheroe Cemetery and refreshments at the Calf’s Head, Worston. All friends are very welcome.