Obituary: Alison Mary Craddock, 84

Alison Craddock received a special performance by the Singing Kettle for her retirement party. Picture: comp
Alison Craddock received a special performance by the Singing Kettle for her retirement party. Picture: comp
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A RETIRED primary school headteacher has died in the Capital at the age of 84.

Alison Mary Craddock was born in 1931 into a close, loving family.

Her father Randall Philip was an advocate at the Scots Bar.

Her mother, Ella, had studied French in Glasgow and Grenoble, and love of all things French was a constant in Alison’s life.

She had an older brother, Gordon, four years her senior.

She became a boarder at St Leonard’s School in St Andrews and threw herself into school life.

Her little sister, Rosemary, was born, which brought great joy to the family after the tragedy of Gordon’s death.

Alison did well at school and was Head Girl in her last year.

She found this role hard as she was naturally shy and did not enjoy the limelight.

A degree in French and German at Oxford followed.

During her university career, there was time spent at Heidelberg University and a year at the Sorbonne in Paris.

On her return to Edinburgh in 1955, Alison worked for the Lord Lyon and the National Library.

She met Ian Craddock from whom she was inseparable for the next 60 years.

They married in July 1956, and set up home together in a flat in India Street.

Into their domestic bliss arrived, first Jane, in November 1957 and then the double shock of the twins, Fiona and Richard, in January 1961.

Even for someone of Alison’s enormous energy, hauling two babies, with a three-year old-in tow, up to a second-floor flat was really too much and, in September 1962, the family moved to a house in Wardie Road.

Soon, Alison was involved in voluntary work, becoming Treasurer of a playgroup association, teaching at Sunday School, and becoming involved in the Trefoil Centre at Gogarburn, which cared for children affected by thalidomide.

In 1971, Alison embarked on a new phase for which, with hindsight, she always seems to have been destined. She trained as a primary teacher at Moray House College, joining the primary staff at St George’s School in 1972.

Alison went on to become head of the primary, until her retirement in 1992.

For her retirement party, Alison was thrilled that the Singing Kettle gave a special performance for her.

As well as allowing for more time with Ian, retirement brought new interests.

She became a guide at the Georgian House, helped with children’s groups at the Botanic Garden, and travelled around Scotland with the Pictish Arts Society.

Alison died at the age of 84 on November 13 at the Western General Hospital.

She is survived by Ian, her three children, eight grandchildren and her sister.