Tributes paid to ‘legend of Steyning’

Peggy Weeks and her late husband's Arctic Star Medal
Peggy Weeks and her late husband's Arctic Star Medal

Former Steyning Grammar School teacher and ‘legend of Steyning’ Peggy Weeks has died at the age of 90.

She died at her care home in Bognor on Tuesday (January 17), two years after suffering with pneumonia.

Peggy Weeks (85) with her home made Olympic Torch, Steyning

Peggy Weeks (85) with her home made Olympic Torch, Steyning

Her daughter Clare Skinner, 54, who is the youngest of Peggy’s five children, remembers her as a ‘legend’ of Steyning.

“I was walking through Steyning high street (on Wednesday) and it took me about two and a half hours to get from one end to the other” said Clare.

“So many people stopped me to ask me about my mother and to share with me their memories of her. It makes the grieving easier.”

Born in Sutton Coldfield, in Birmingham, on September 5, 1926, Peggy moved to Steyning where she was a resident for 63 years.

She started teaching PE at Steyning Grammar School in her early 20s where she met her husband Arthur before going on to teach history and English.

Arthur died in 1974 when Peggy’s daughter Clare was just 11 leaving Peggy to raise her children on her own.

She continued to teach at the school and began giving talks about her travels for the Women’s Institute.

“It was in her retirement years when she really lived” added Clare.

“She travelled the world and saw so many different cultures and places including Peru, New Zealand and the Caribbean.

“She began travelling once she retired right up until she was in her eighties. That is when she decided it was best to slow down a bit.

“She was mad and used to bring so much of the culture from these places back with her.

“She was a legend of Steyning.”

Peggy also had 12 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Her eldest granddaughter Carina said: “Peggy Weeks you taught us the importance of expressing ourselves, not to be scared of showing our true colours or to worry about what others may think of us, to be curious to explore every corner and turn over every stone, to love unconditionally, to be brave and take risks, to capture and share stories, to spend time talking to one another, to fail and learn, to leave a mark, to cause trouble and be mischievous and to fight for things you believe in.

“Your last words to me were that I should do the things I want to do today as I’ll never know when I might not be able to do them.

“I promise to live by that. Rest in peace my greatest inspiration.”

A service will be held to remember Peggy at Chichester crematorium from 12.30pm on Tuesday, February 21. Peggy’s family have invited people to make a donation to Cancer Research UK rather than bringing flowers to the service.