Double celebration for retired Pauline

A RETIRED headteacher has two reasons to smile after having her first book published and been told she is on the New Year’s Honours list to be made an MBE.

Pauline Foster, 67, who has lived in Thixendale for over 40 years, recently had a book published called “Forty Years in Thixendale.”

The book is a snap shot of the village of Thixendale from 1871-1911 and is based on the diary written by Thixendale’s first vicar, Rev William Henry Fox.

The diary itself focuses mainly on church life but the book also looks at other matters happening in the community and wider world at that time.

Pauline, who was a headteacher at Wilberfoss C of E School before she retired, has had the idea of writing the book for a long time.

She said: “About 20 years ago I did a heritage exhibition in the village and when I was researching that I went to the archives at Beverley and found this diary, which is basically an exercise book.

“For the purpose of the exhibition I made a facsimile of it, a replica, which I’ve used on various occasions and people have been very interested in it and wanted to know more about it.

“People who looked at this facsimile were struggling to read it and I’ve always wanted to transcribe it so that it was accessible to more people.

“I’ve had this objective for a long time and once I thought more about it I thought it would be a book that would appeal to a wide readership because it’s not just a book about the vicar and the church but it’s about the wider community and wider world at that time. So hopefully it doesn’t just appeal to people in Thixendale.”

Pauline, a member of the High Wolds Heritage Group, started writing the book about a year ago and finished the bulk of it around Easter time.

She said she is delighted to see the diary in print and is thankful for the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund who have given the High Wolds Heritage Group grants which helped pay for the publication of the book as well as many other projects organised by the group.

Pauline said: “I am very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the support which has enabled me to make this diary accessible to the wider public.”

Pauline’s devotion to the village of Thixendale has been rewarded after she was named on the New Year’s Honours List to be made an MBE.

She will pick up the gong at Buckingham Palace later this year as a thank you for her tireless work for the community.

Pauline has helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for her local community to pay for new facilities and projects and to maintain and improve Thixendale’s iconic village hall, church and school house.

She said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s an honour and a privilege to receive it.”