Rydal Penrhos Community
Sonia Ankers (1924-2019): Tributes paid to legendary former Penrhos College teacher

Sonia Ankers (1924-2019): Tributes paid to legendary former Penrhos College teacher

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing Sonia Ankers.

The former Penrhos College teacher died on Saturday, July 6 at Colwyn Bay Hospital after a long and eventful life that began in 1924.

Sonia was educated at Merchant Taylor’s School, which she loved, before coming to Colwyn Bay to take up a teaching position at Penrhos College in 1949 following the Second World War.

World War Two was a dreadful time for Sonia’s family. Her father, now a Lieutenant- Commander in the RNR, was in the Battle of the Atlantic.

The ship was sunk by a bomb from a German plane and although he was one of the survivors, he spent five years as a prisoner-of-war in Germany.

Meanwhile, his family was in the midst of the bombings in Liverpool and were forced to evacuate to Southport.

After the war, Sonia read English Language and Literature at Durham University where she first became involved in politics as Secretary of the Durham University Conservative Association and Public Secretary of Durham and Newcastle Universities.

Her legacy at Penrhos College was lasting, with Sonia teaching English at the site for 30 years, latterly as Head of Department, and loved both her job and the College life.

She had always liked hill-walking and with her dear friend Brandy spent most weekends climbing the Snowdonia Range, getting to know every crag and peak.

Sonia was invited to join the Snowdonia Society by its founder, Esme Kirby and they became very good friends.

She greatly enjoyed walking holidays with the Holiday Friendship and Countrywide, and latterly the many wonderful walks with Focus which has fostered friendship, kindness and a great deal of fun within its circle.

From early days, Sonia loved Drama and was always ready to take part in a play and at school. She found an outlet in the Colwyn Bay Abbey Players and wrote extensively for literary magazines and poetry.

She published two books entitled Crosby Childhood and Crosby the War Years, in addition to two booklets: ‘Post War Durham, Saint Mary’s College’ and ‘First Term Penrhos’.

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