Death of a teacher who inspired her many pupils

A dedicated teacher with a passion for learning has been remembered fondly at her funeral service.

Joyce Ligertwood, seated centre, was a guest of honour at last year's reunion of Falkirk High School pupils
Joyce Ligertwood, seated centre, was a guest of honour at last year's reunion of Falkirk High School pupils

Joyce Ligertwood taught English at Falkirk High School for almost 30 years, having previously been a librarian at Callander Park College.

She was well-liked and respected by fellow colleagues and pupils alike. With a sometimes eccentric manner, she thought it important that young people could learn in a fun and easy way.

Her belief that everyone should have the same opportunities, saw her often tutor pupils for free in the hope that she could help them achieve their goals.

Born in Glasgow to Stephen and Georgina Ligertwood, she was the fourth child in a family of six. She attended Ruchill Public School and Bankhead School where she excelled in her studies.

Despite a happy home life, her world was turned upside down when the Clydeside Blitz took place on March 13 and 14, 1941.

Desperate to protect their family, her parents moved to Airdrie before getting a house in Standburn. Alongside four of her siblings, Joyce was enrolled at Drumbowie School where she studied until moving to Falkirk High.

During her time as a librarian she decided to continue her education and decided to train as a teacher at Moray House in Edinburgh.

She then went on to Strathclyde University where she passed her BA in English Literature.

Her vast knowledge was also put to use and in 1967 she won a coveted prize for poetry with the BBC. She was captain of the Strathclyde University Challenge team and competed in quiz shows including Brain of Britain, Countdown and Winner Takes All. But her greatest quiz achievement was reaching the final of the first-ever series of Mastermind.

Retirement didn’t see any slow down and she loved to travel, but still found time to volunteer for the Sue Ryder home in Dechmont, as well as supporting her local community.

Well known and respected in Avonbridge where she lived for many years, Joyce is survived by her siblings, nieces and nephews.

Since the unexpected death of Miss Ligertwood as she was known to many at 85, many tributes have been paid, including from her former pupils, who described her “interesting and inspirational”.