Tributes to cycling headmistress

TRIBUTES have been paid to a respected former headmistress and round-the-world cyclist.

Anthony Bond

TRIBUTES have been paid to a respected former headmistress and round-the-world cyclist.

Anne Mustoe, the former headmistress of Saint Felix School in Southwold, died earlier this month at the age of 76 after falling ill on a cycling trip in Syria.

She was appointed the headship of Saint Felix in 1978 where she commanded a great deal of respect. But in 1987, at the age of 54, she resigned from her post to cycle around the world. She had not cycled for 30 years but this trip became the first of many which led to her 'new career'.

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From this first trip she wrote the book 'A Bike Ride'. After other ambitious cycling trips she went on to publish a series of other travel books.

Fran D'Alcorn, deputy head of the school, said Mrs Mustoe made a “tremendous contribution” to Saint Felix.

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“She was a very enterprising headmistress and under her headship the school really flourished and there was lots of development in that time.

“As a headmistress she had very high standards and she set high standards herself and demanded high standards from her staff and she certainly took the school forward considerably in the decade that she was there.”

Miss D'Alcorn said the girls at the school were encouraged to strive for success under Mrs Mustoe.

“Her relationship with pupils was one that in many ways they wished to emulate because she showed them what a female could do. It was the beginning of equality that girls should not just be satisfied with second best. She was very enthusiastic about making sure that they really went for the top jobs and careers.”

Mrs Mustoe, who was married to Nelson Mustoe QC before he died in 1976, set out on her last cycle trip in May this year. She died on November 10 in a hospital in Aleppo (Haleb).

She is survived by three stepsons.

A memorial service will be held at Saint Felix School in March.

Miss D'Alcorn said: “We all want to pay tribute to the tremendous contribution that she made to the success of Saint Felix.”

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