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First woman mayor watches over pupils

PUBLISHED: 13:05 06 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:34 30 June 2010

PROUDLY adorning the walls of the East Norfolk Sixth Form College principal's office, former Great Yarmouth mayor Alderman Ethel Leach can once again watch over the schoolchildren.

PROUDLY adorning the walls of the East Norfolk Sixth Form College principal's office, former Great Yarmouth mayor Alderman Ethel Leach can once again watch over the schoolchildren.

The college has received a picture of Ald Leach as a reminder of its previous incarnation as Alderman Leach secondary modern school, named after the former mayor who opened it in August 1932.

The 2ft by 2ft 6ins portrait shows Yarmouth's first female mayor dressed in her robes with the chain of office around her neck, and was given to the school in January by community curator David McDermott.

Previously, the signed picture, created by A&L Yallop of Yarmouth, was in the office of Hugh Shearer, the headteacher at Alderman Leach School between 1969 and 1981.

After Alderman Leach School closed in 1982, Mr Shearer kept the portrait at his home in Honingham until his death in June when his wife Peggy discovered it in the loft. By coincidence, Mr Shearer's daughter, Stephanie Rouse, works as a library assistant at the college.

Mr Poulson said: “We will hang it in the office. It is quite appropriate as the current college is housed in the old Alderman Leach buildings.”

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