Pauline Lilian Boyd 1941 – 2011
To our very great sorrow, Pauline, wife, mother and grandmother, passed away on 30 December. Middlesbrough born, she trained at the London College of Dance and Drama and in 1963 came with her husband, Graham, to Scatterdells Lane where they brought up their children, Andrew and Sophie.
She taught at various schools, including her own School of Dancing, and at Abbots Hill School, as well as a class teacher at St Nicholas House. The combination of these two roles seemed to act as a catalyst for her amazing creativity and charisma.
She was never timorous in her efforts to stimulate her classes and making learning fun. She played tapes of Mozart and Vivaldi during maths lessons and involved the whole school in dressing up as clowns on Red Nose Days.Yet all the while she exacted high standards and still was much loved by the children.
Her passion for Dance and Theatre never wained and there were constant visits to Sadlers Wells to follow the latest developments in modern dance. The last occasion to see the Ballet Rambert was only weeks before she died.
Without doubt the crowning achievement of her teaching days were the annual productions of West End and Broadway musicals such as Annie, Mary Poppins, and Buggsie Malone. She was enthusiastically supported by staff and parents but always led from the front working throughout the summer term seven days a week without stint.
It was when all this creativity was at its peak that the shadow of multiple sclerosis cast its blight. Her vitality ebbed away and she was forced to take early retirement. As if this was not enough, there followed two strokes which robbed her of her physical independence and power of speech confining her to a wheelchair existence.
Having been the life and soul of the party she now had to experience life as a spectator. Gradually over her remaining years, she bravely came to accept her fate and was still able to glean whatever opportunities for pleasure might still come her way. A wonderful serenity seemed to develop in her. Sometimes she would be listening to music with her eyes closed, smiling to herself at some passage or phrase. Or, on sunny days in the garden amongst the birdsong, butterflies and the hum of insects she would seem to be at one with nature, wanting to stay until the shadows had cooled and the sun almost gone. That magical smile became almost her sole means of communication and when it appeared would lighten up those moments with family, friends and carers. It was as if the sun had come out from behind a cloud.
The end came with very little warning and it has left us with an indescribable sense of loss. Yet a feeling of privilege that we had such a warm, brave and loving person in our lives. She will always be a deep and abiding part of us. Simply, unforgettable!
Graham, Andrew and Sophie Boyd
I was so sad to read that Pauline had passed away. I was a class teacher at St Nicholas House from 1986 to 2000 and my two daughters, Martha and Laura were pupils there and were fortunate to be taught by Pauline. She was indeed an inspirational teacher and a wonderful colleague who brought the staffroom to life! My daughters still recall bringing in chocolate for Maths lessons to help understand Fractions and ‘making’ homeworks, in particular, for Charlotte’s Web. The field visits to Juniper Hall were both highly enjoyable and educational, never forgotten. The legendary Summer productions were Pauline’s tour de force and the staff and all children absolutely loved being involved. Her standards were very high and the children rose to her expectations. My younger daughter is herself a teacher in a Prep school very similar to St Nick’s and she uses classical music in her lessons as she remembers how Pauline used it with such wonderful effect in her classroom. She was a great lady and will always be remembered with great affection.March 4, 2012