'She never did anything by halves' - Great Yarmouth girl guide remembered

Kay Starling

Kay Starling receiving a trophy at Great Yarmouth Swimming Club dinner in December 1955 - Credit: Carol Weir

Tributes have been paid to a Great Yarmouth 'old girl' guide who will be 'sorely missed' after dedicating her life to various clubs and associations.

Kay Starling on holiday

Kay Starling on holiday. - Credit: Carol Weir

Diane Kay Starling, known to all as Kay, died on March 28.

She was born in 1942 and attended Alderman Swindell Infants School, The Priory School for Girls and the Technical High School in Gorleston.

She was a guide in the 1950s as well as leader of The Snowdrop Patrol.

Rose Watson, who reunited with Miss Starling after they had both retired, said: "We reminisced a lot about the 22nd Great Yarmouth girl guides.


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"Kay had already sent pictures of the guides to Let's Talk magazine in 2004. 

"Before too long, there were pictures and an article in the magazine about our guiding days.

A group photo of the girl guides

Kay Starling, at the centre of the back row, with the 22nd girl guides of Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Carol Weir

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"There were several responses, including one from our captain Mrs Norah Mobbs. 

"Kay then organised a reunion lunch at the Burlington hotel, which Norah attended.

"Kay had been an enthusiastic guide, we did a lot that would not be permitted today, including exceeding company numbers by forty.

"That was Kay, though: she did not like to say no to any girl.  

"Kay had enjoyed being a guide, and an old girl. She never did anything by halves."

Kay organised Girl Guides Reunions for the 22nd Great Yarmouth Company, with the last one in 2019. 

Kay Starling

Kay Starling used to work as a secretary for Grouts Textile Factory. - Credit: Carol Weir

Miss Starling finished off her education at Great Yarmouth Technical College where she studied Commercial Skills.

She then obtained an office position at Grouts Textile Factory in Great Yarmouth. 

She was keen on sport and played netball in both the school's and Grout's teams.

She also played hockey in the Great Yarmouth team with her mother, May.

Learning to swim at the age of six, Miss Starling was an avid member of Great Yarmouth Swimming Club.

She represented Great Yarmouth in Inter-club galas and won many trophies.

Kay Starling smiling

Kay Starling will be missed by her friends, fellow guides, the Great Yarmouth Swimming Club, Norfolk County Council Staff Bowl's Club and the Resident's Association of Catton Court. - Credit: Carol Weir

Her funeral will be held on Friday, May 14, at 4.15pm at St. Faith's Crematorium by invitation only due to Covid-19 restrictions and the service will be live streamed for her many friends in England and the Netherlands.  

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