Syd and Sylvia
Syd and Sylvia Turner, who lived in Stanhoe for 30 years, have died within days of one another: Syd on 1 February aged 91, and Sylvia on 5 February aged 88.
A joint funeral will take place at All Saints’ church, Stanhoe, on Wednesday 27 February at 2.00 pm, followed by burial in the churchyard.
Syd and Sylvia moved to Norfolk from Hertfordshire when Syd retired from the Metropolitan Police in 1978, writes their daughter Gillian.
They toured the countryside with their tiny caravan to find somewhere on the coast to retire to, so Syd could fulfil his ambition to have a sailing boat. They discovered a house in Brancaster Staithe with a garden that stretched down to the salt marshes and harbour.
Syd and Sylvia spent the next 12 years there, usually with at least one of their three children in residence. They transformed the land into an amazing garden which took up most of their time, but Syd found time to sail his Drascombe Dabber.
They later downsized to a house in Stanhoe with a smaller garden and continued to live there for the next 30 years.
Syd and Sylvia lived a wonderful life together, travelling all over the world and trying lots of new things, including a long safari on elephant back and white-water rafting in their late seventies. They were both excellent dancers, and Syd was a talented artist.
They were fortunate to make many wonderful friends both in Brancaster Staithe and then in Stanhoe and surroundings, and never regretted making the move from Hertfordshire.
Sylvia and Syd both stated their wish to be buried in the churchyard at Stanhoe. North Norfolk became a true home for them and their final resting place.
Their 70th wedding anniversary would have been in September 2019.
Two lives well lived
Despite growing up during WWII and starting work by the time they were 14, both Syd and Sylvia read extensively and were ambitious for themselves and their three children: Martin, Gillian and Richard. All three children went on to achieve one or more degrees and higher qualifications, as well as marrying and starting families of their own.
As a young man Syd served on a minesweeper in the Mediterranean before he joined the police. He became a trained marksman and did a couple of six-month stints in diplomatic security. He also helped to drive suspected bombs out of London when the security services were overwhelmed at the time of the IRA bombings.
After leaving the force Syd found that retirement didn’t suit him, so after a short spell working with young offenders he became a County Court bailiff until his second retirement at age 65.
He had a very dry sense of humour. He never swore. I never remember him going to the pub. He rarely spoke about his work. He simply wanted to come home to his family.
Mum was the rock of the family, particularly during the years when Dad was working shifts and rarely was home for Christmas.
She was a qualified nursery nurse and for some years ran the playgroup in Burnham Market. She was a great believer in children learning through play, often very creative and very messy.
Sylvia later started an investigation agency and was joined by Syd after his second retirement.
They were both old-school but not old fashioned. Neither would hear a word said about the other. There are so many photos of the two of them going back over 70 years and the love they shared shines through all of them. They were the luckiest people.