Retired headteacher Miss Atkin has celebrated her 100th birthday

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Gerry Harper, left, 100-year-old Irene Atkin, Squadron Leader David Dinmore, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Gerry Harper, left, 100-year-old Irene Atkin, Squadron Leader David Dinmore, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire

A former headteacher in Rothwell has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Irene Atkin became the head at Haigh Road Infant School in 1952 bringing her particular expertise in teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. She retired 29 years later and travelled extensively.

Miss Atkin was born on November 29, 1916 in Sheffield, Her family moved to Robin Hood when she was five.

She attended Carlton School and Wakefield Girls’ High School, and later trained as a teacher in Sheffield.

At the beginning of World War Two she began her career in Askern near Doncaster. A year later she moved to Green Lane School in Armley where staff also supervised breakfast, lunch and tea after school because mothers were working long hours in the munitions factories. Teachers were then involved in fire watch duties in the evenings and overnight. She later took part in the British Teacher Exchange Scheme and spent a year in New York State.

The centenarian now lives at Oulton Manor care home where family, friends and former colleagues from across the country, the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Gerry Harper and the choir and band from Wakefield Girls’ High School joined her to celebrate her birthday last Tuesday. Squadron Leader David Dinmore, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, presented a birthday card on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen.

Oulton Manor manager Stephanie Dyson said: “Miss Atkin is highly regarded in the community. She was a very active and popular headteacher. We’re proud to be part of her life at this very special time.”