Tributes to 'kind and caring' Nanny Fay
TRIBUTES have been paid to a much-loved dinner lady who helped bring up a generation of children at a Downend school.
Fay Mallet, who was known as Nanny Fay by youngsters at Stanbridge Primary School, died shortly before Christmas, aged 82.
The Bristol-born mum and grandmother first started helping out at Stanbridge in 2001.
Fay had been living in California with her husband Chris, who was a Salvation Army musical director. But after Chris died in 2000, Fay returned to Downend, where her daughter Debbie Shambrook was already working at Stanbridge and her three grandsons, Benjamin, Jamie and Joshua, were pupils.
When the school needed a new lunch break supervisor, Debbie asked her mum to come along and try it – and she stayed in the job for almost 11 years.
Debbie said: "My sons were there when she started and they used to call her Nanny Fay - then all the rest of the children started to call her Nanny Fay as well. Even the teachers called her Nanny Fay - it was never Mrs Mallett.
"She absolutely loved it – she only stopped due to her ill-health, when she couldn't do any walking any more."
Fay was brought up in Whitehall and went to school in Fishponds, before working for the GPO as a telephonist. She worked with children for the Salvation Army, teaching them how to sing.
Debbie said: "She had always been around children and at Stanbridge she was always on reception, helping. She just loved the children, she loved the staff and she got on with everybody."
Speaking on behalf of Stanbridge staff, Jan Fishlock said: "During her working time she became an iconic figure, whose kind and caring personality earned her many friends.
"Fay spent every minute of her working day totally dedicated to the pupils, cutting their food, playing traditional games and even finding time to teach them to knit!
"She was a truly remarkable lady who represented in every way the role of a “nanny figure” to many pupils. She had so much patience and compassion for people, both young and old, and never failed to deliver.
"One of my special memories was seeing her dancing at the school disco and all the pupils queueing up to dance with her!
"She touched the lives of many and I can be sure she will be fondly remembered by all who were privileged to have known her."
Fay's funeral was set to be held on January 28 at 11am, at Westerleigh Crematorium.