Tributes have been paid to a "remarkable lady" who always had the best interests of others at heart. 

Marjorie Harvey lived in Dereham for almost five decades and was well known as the school matron at Fred Nicholson School. 

She worked alongside and supported her husband, Eddie, who was the school’s headmaster, for more than 20 years. 

Dereham Times: Marjorie Harvey served as mayor of Dereham from 1994-95Marjorie Harvey served as mayor of Dereham from 1994-95 (Image: Dereham Town Council)

Born in Barrow-in-Furness in 1939, Marjorie Harvey met her future husband, Eddie, while at Alsager’s Teacher Training College.

They married in April 1962 and, a couple of years later, moved to Standon Bowers Boarding School where they lived, and Mr Harvey taught.

In 1965 they welcomed daughter Kathryn into the world, followed two years later by David. 

The family moved to Norfolk in 1973 so Mr Harvey could become the first headmaster of Fred Nicholson School (FNS) in Dereham. 

Mrs Harvey became matron of Fred Nich's which, at the time, was one of only two Special Educational Needs schools in the county.

Ernie Pinch, who joined the teaching staff in 1974, said: "It was a happy school where pupils worked hard and played hard.

"Marjorie was responsible for the many social activities at various times of the year. She even introduced us to ballroom dancing.

Dereham Times: Marjorie Harvey laying a wreath at the war memorial in Dereham during her term as mayorMarjorie Harvey laying a wreath at the war memorial in Dereham during her term as mayor (Image: Supplied by family)

“We all owed her so much, pupils and staff alike. The food was excellent and the boarders had all the comforts of home. She always had their best interests at heart."

Kathryn and David added: "Mum loved working with the staff and students.

"We can remember her writing postcards to all the students every summer holiday, wherever we were and whatever we were doing.

"Even after mum retired, former students remained in touch."

Over the years, Mrs Harvey supported numerous community groups. 

She ran the Toftwood Junior Choir and was part of the Twinning Society which organised trips to Ruthen, Germany. 

And, having served as a town councillor for several years, Mrs Harvey was proud to become mayor in 1994.

She was also president of Dereham Town Band and supported projects close to her heart including Stepping Out, Dereham Society and Dereham Windmill.

Kathryn and David added: "Mum was a remarkable lady and we treasure our memories of her."

Mrs Harvey died aged 83 on October 16. She leaves behind two children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

A committal service and celebration of her life were held on Thursday, November 17.