Born in Sunderland in 1933, not far from the lovely coasts of Durham and Northumberland – both areas of great beauty and historical interest – Sybil attended with her sisters Helen and Pauline, Sunderland High School for girls. VE and VJ days of celebration are still vivid in her memory.
In 1948-9, due to her father’s occupation, the family moved to Cheshire and she moved to Sale County Grammar School for Girls.
From there, in 1951, she was accepted for teacher training college in Birmingham. Once qualified she started her professional career as a teacher under the guidance and great encouragement of Miss M. M. Walshe, headmistress of Cotteridge Girls’ Secondary School.
Through various promotions, she finally became head of middle school at Yardley, one of only four mixed (coed) grammar schools in Birmingham, later to become Yardley Comprehensive School in 1974. In 1986, after twenty-two years at Yardley and thirty-three years altogether as a teacher, she took early retirement towards taking up a post in Canada.
Owing to family circumstances and ultimately the death of her mother, she had to forgo the new job. By 1992 she had also suffered the loss of her two sisters.
Enrolling at Bournville College of Arts & Crafts for the Advanced City and Guilds course in textiles, she attained a high standard and continued with this hobby in her workroom at home, also enjoying woodcraft in her kitchen and regularly showing and setting her products at Craft Fairs.
Throughout these years and as a member of the SIFD (Society for International Folk Dancing) she travelled up to four times a year to attend workshops in traditional folk dance in Hungary, then on returning home travelling to visit branches of the SIFD in the UK to further spread interest in Hungary and its traditions. In 1973 she opened the West Midlands branch of the SIFD.
Her kitchen wall is a frequent reminder of all her activities. Each reminds her of someone, somewhere and even a few red-carpet events!
The first book she produced, in 2014, has been very useful in helping friends and even fellow patients in hospital to cope with their problems through her poems and Thoughts Along the Way.
ISBN 978 07223 5072-0
Paperback – 183 pages