Anne Beeby RIP
Anne is fondly remembered by all who knew her. There will be a small family funeral and possibly a memorial service at a later date. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.
Housemaster of Devine, Daniel Rimmer writes “My first memory and one of the most lasting memories of Anne Beeby was the welcome she and David gave me in my first week at Clayesmore. A few days before the start of my new term, I was invited for drinks and nibbles at Hambledon House, alongside Senior Management and other new staff and spouses. Hambledon had just undergone a repaint and, I was soon to discover, had been re-carpeted throughout. In my nervousness at my first outing to the Head’s House, I somehow managed to knock a full bottle of red wine over the brand new, cream carpet! Yet, Anne was not only completely forgiving she found the whole incident hilarious. This was Anne: unbelievably kind and forgiving and possessing an immense sense of fun alongside the ability to forgive and support the young.
She was like a Clayesmore mum to the young staff and, indeed, many of the pupils. Both she and David loved the company of the young staff as well as the boys and girls at Clayesmore. I do not think it would be unfair to say that when Middle, Stilwell, Jack, Rimmer and the Australian TAs arrived at Clayesmore as the ‘Young Bucks’ (RJD’s term, I think) the staff common room was quite ‘mature’. The years before the ‘Young Bucks’ arrived had apparently not been easy for Clayesmore but her love of Clayesmore and commitment to its ethos, development and progress was unstinting. She would not allow the new staff to be held back by the past but encouraged us to live the Clayesmore life in a spirit of fun, love and laughter, frequently inviting the Young Bucks over for casual suppers.
Anne would always go out of her way to make sure the new staff were properly looked after. For example, some of the staff accommodation in those days was of dubious quality and when Anne saw the state of Middle’s accommodation in the Fire Station she quickly saw to it that it was made habitable. Similarly, when the newlywed Housemaster of Devine looked to move in, Anne was the first on the scene to reassure the nervous couple and to make sure it was a home fit for a future family – and look how that turned out! Twenty years and two children later…!
She even made sure the Middle’s wedding ran smoothly, arranging the flowers in St Mary’s Church and the decorations in the Main House. One trick I never really mastered, however, was realising that the way to get those extra improvements or time off was to speak with Anne, not David. David was the pragmatic professional unless Anne convinced him otherwise – and she could be very convincing!
If life were difficult Anne would be the one to make sure you were properly looked after. Indeed, when the future Mrs Rimmer found herself homeless, a cupboard was found in Wolverton that was transformed into a habitable room. On a recent visit to our departing Year 13 daughter’s room we discovered the room was still there and still in use.
I do not think Middle and I would have survived at Clayesmore as long as we have without those early years of support from and fun with both David and Anne. Anne had a terrific sense of humour and was even prepared to laugh at herself – and Middle’s jokes!
I remember when she arrived in chapel carrying an old-fashioned broom. When Middle asked her if she had just landed she roared with laughter! She was also the inspiration behind the Clayesmore Pudding book which Middle uses to this day. He has promised to bake the Middles and the Rimmers an ‘Anne Beeby’ cake for the first day of the summer break.”