Teaching couple moving to Wales after decades in Great Yarmouth

Stuart, left and Daphne King smile for the camera

Stuart and Daphne King are leaving Great Yarmouth after decades in the town. - Credit: Daphne and Stuart King

After a combined total of more than 80 years in high schools and colleges, a couple is saying goodbye to the east coast.

Daphne and Stuart King will be leaving Great Yarmouth and locating to Wales to be near their family and grandchildren.

Stuart grew up in the town and attended Northgate Infants, St Nicholas Priory C of E junior school and the the Technical High School/Oriel Grammar in Gorleston.

He went to university in London and began his teaching career in the capital before returning to Great Yarmouth in 1978.

Stuart and Daphne King with their cat.

Daphne and Stuart King with their cat. - Credit: Daphne and Stuart King

Daphne grew up in Londonderry/Derry in Northern Ireland and on leaving school studied Music at Kings College London.

Daphne will be remembered in the early 80s and 90s for her contribution to the musical life of  young people at Gorleston Grammar School and through her conducting at the annual Hippodrome Festival of Carols.

She formed and led the East Norfolk Youth Choir during this time, made up of young people from all local schools and colleges.

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She moved from classroom to management, setting up and leading a large Performing Arts department at Great Yarmouth College, moving on to the role of Vice Principal before moving to East Norfolk Sixth Form College as Principal.

Since retiring, she has acted as a government adviser on the review of sixth form colleges in England, has been an Ofsted inspector and her voluntary roles have included Governor and trustee for the Diocese of Norfolk Academies Trust

As principal at East Norfolk, Daphne oversaw major building projects and set in motion the collaboration with Gorleston FC which is currently coming to fruition.

Daphne’s students have gone on to many careers nationally and internationally and she looks forward to the many concerts and operas in Cardiff where her son Patrick works at the Welsh National Opera and as head of department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Two of Daphne’s former pupils are also in top jobs there - Robert Plane, formerly a pupil at Gorleston Grammar school is head of woodwind and Andrea Morris, formerly a student of Daphne’s at Great Yarmouth College is Head of Undergraduate studies.

"I’m really looking forward to lots of live music when things return to normal and I’ll also be overseeing piano lessons for my four grandchildren," she said.

Another new challenge for Daphne will be to write her memoir about life in Derry during the years of the Troubles, from a teenager's perspective.

Stuart and Daphne King in a black and white picture

Stuart and Daphne King celebrating their engagement in 1976. - Credit: Daphne and Stuart King

Stuart spent 16 years at Great Yarmouth High school moving to the school from Greenacre Secondary where he taught RE and Music.

While at Great Yarmouth in addition to his Head of Department duties he enjoyed coaching football teams and became known for some unusual projects - not least the initiative which saw the school win TV AM's Caring Christmas’ award.

The following year in an attempt to retain the award the whole school was involved in constructing and stretching the world's longest Christmas paper chain along Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile.

At Lynn Grove, Stuart will be remembered for Career Fashion shows, Preparing for Opportunities Conferences and for co-ordinating annual work experience campaigns for his students where he spent a further 16 years.

While at Lynn Grove Stuart also led many extra curricular visits and trips.

"Education does not end when young people leave your classroom," he said.

He also set up the twinning exchange with York School in Maine in America. The exchange began on an annual basis in 2004 and is still strong.

He said many life-long friendships have been formed as a result of the exchange.

It will be a wrench to leave Great Yarmouth the couple said.

Their son, Patrick, daughter-in-law, Hannah, and four grandchildren await them in South Wales.

"We just decided to do it while we have enough energy left," Daphne said.

"We’d just like to thank all the families and young people and colleagues we’ve worked with for their time, commitment and love over the years.

"We would love to have said goodbye to all our friends and colleagues but in the current situation it is not possible.

"Great Yarmouth has been a great place to work and live and it has been a privilege to work here among you. God Bless you all and our lovely old town!"