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News > Old Girls > Remembering Pamela Pye (nee Wiseman) - Class of 1948

Remembering Pamela Pye (nee Wiseman) - Class of 1948

It is with great sadness that the school learnt of the death of Pamela Pye (nee Wiseman), who died on 26th November 2023 at the age of 93 in Yeovil Hospital.
11 Jan 2024
Old Girls
Pamela receiving the Freedom of the Company in March 2020
Pamela receiving the Freedom of the Company in March 2020

It is with great sadness that the school learnt of the death of Pamela Pye, who died on 26th November 2023 at the age of 93 in Yeovil Hospital.

Pamela started at Acton in May 1942 part way through the summer term.  With the chaos of the Second World War many pupils education was disrupted and this was the case for Pamela who had attended a number of schools for very short periods in the preceding years and hence had failed her 11+ examination.  Her parents were struggling to find her a place in a secondary school until friends suggested that they try Haberdashers.  She was interviewed by Miss Sprules who remarked “I do hate to see a girl idle, you had better start tomorrow.”  Thus an 81-year association was formed.

She took her General School Certificate examinations in summer 1946 followed by Higher School Certificate two years later.  Leaving school in summer 1948, she joined the Bank of England where she remained all her working life following in the footsteps of her parents who both worked there.  She was a very active member of the Old Girls’ Committee from 1961 becoming its Treasurer in July 1964.  This role she held for over 20 years until her retirement from work in 1987 led to a house move down to Wells in Somerset.  She served as President of the Old Girls’ Club from 1975 to 1979 whilst still retaining the role as Treasurer, a unique and unprecedented arrangement.  Pamela was invited to become Club President as the Committee felt that it was important to have a President who was keenly interested in the Club and its future and who would do all that was possible to knit the Acton and Elstree girls together as a whole given that the school had only been at Elstree for one year.  However, in accepting the Presidency she was reluctant to give up her position as Club Treasurer.  In 2008 Pamela was made a Life Vice President of the Club in recognition of her dedicated years of service.

During her retirement in Wells, she involved herself in the life of the Cathedral, enjoyed her choral singing and participated in keep fit classes following the inspiration of her PE teacher, the redoubtable Miss Jeanie Parker who believed in lifelong fitness. 

Over the years she has been a generous supporter of the school and in particular the Music Department and Library. Due to Pamela's generosity the school set up a string scheme for Year 3 pupils, funded the purchase of books for the entire school as part of the Whole School Summer Read and enabled our fantastic Haberdashers' crest clock in the Dining Room.   The clock features a penguin to signify Pamela’s love of penguins and the mathematical symbol for pi as a pun on her surname.  She attended every St Catherine's Day until a few years ago and wrote regularly to senior staff at the school.

On 3rd March 2020, Pamela was made a Freeman of the Haberdashers’ Company in a ceremony held at the Livery Hall in West Smithfield.  The school was thrilled by this formal recognition that the Company gave to Pamela - it couldn't have been more thoroughly deserved.

The school was represented at her funeral on 20th December and she was remembered in the prayers at the schools’ Carol Service on 13th December.

It may be noted that she passed away a few hours after the end of St Catherine’s Day.  A true Haberdasher to the end.

Pamela in her school blazer summer 1942

Pamela with her school friends in summer 1946 (UVth)

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