|2 Mar 2019|
Obituary published in OGA Chain magazine 2019
St Swithun's former teacher, Joanna, was born the second of four sisters in Bow, Devon. Her parents were married in Australia and her father was a naval officer who retired in 1946 after the war. The whole family then moved to Copplestone, Devon where Commander Pope took charge of the family farm.
Joanna and her sisters lived a very happy life on the farm learning many animal husbandry skills. She loved trout fishing on the River Taw where they often made a fire out of dry sticks to cook fried eggs along with fried bread and syrup - a real treat.
Joanna loved riding in the countryside and was lucky enough to be able to do this on a very modest scale. At harvest time, she used to drive an extremely old tractor with ‘metal spade lugs’ which was generally agreed by all to be a real brute - it sent flames shooting up in the air from its vertical exhaust pipe.
The girls milked the three house cows at the weekends and were involved with all that happened on the farm, particularly during the harvest. Just recently Joanna remembered a cow that calved on Christmas day and whose calf wouldn’t suck, so of course they looked after it.
Joanna attended the Maynard School in Exeter, Devon, leaving home in 1953 to attend a course in London to learn how to teach Domestic Science. Her first post was in Ashburton, Devon and after two years she took another post at Cheltenham Ladies College. Later Joanna moved to St Swithun’s where she taught for 30years.
Joanna had a knack with young people and used to have informal evening classes for cooking. These became extremely popular when senior boys from Winchester College were invited to take part.
She retired in 1988 and became very involved with voluntary work in Winchester Cathedral, the Cathedral shop and in the wider community. Joanna started in the Cathedral as a guide (including the tower tours) and then became the first lady sidesperson. Her long service of voluntary work in the Cathedral was recognised in 2017 when, in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, the Queen presented her with Maundy Money.
Joanna helped for many years serving teas to visitors in Winchester Prison. She was also involved in the theatre, being an usher for more than ten years.
Old Girls joined together for tea in the Chapel at St Swithun’s prior to Joanna’s memorial service at Winchester Cathedral on 12 April 2019.