TRIBUTES have been paid to a former teacher at Droitwich Spa High School after she died recently. 

Vicki Walsh-Atkins was an English and drama teacher at Droitwich Spa High School and worked there for almost 20 years. 

Inspired by her love of English and theatre, Vicki's son's Duncan and Chris Walsh-Atkins now both work in the arts industry and live in North London.

Her son Chris Walsh-Atkins, 46, is now an author and film producer.

He spoke of the impact his mother had on her family and the wider community. 

He said: "At that time if you said to your parents 'I want to go into the arts' they would say don't bother, but she actively encouraged us.

"I was always making plays and she was always helping me build sets and props.

"When we lived in Worcestershire we had horses and she would always let me borrow the horse van and drive up and down the country and she would be there helping us to paint sets and do the lighting.

"I had a film at Edinburgh festival the once and she stood in the street and did flyering for me.

"She was very forthright and energetic. 

"She was a great organiser of things and manager of people.

"There was always a party or a show or something going on, she was good at taking control of any situation.

"When you're a child you don't see anything unusual about your parents, it's only when we go back to Worcestershire now that we see the impact she had.

"It was a huge, huge school next to some really troubled estates, so she was half teacher and half social worker in a way back then.

"It's only when I run into people now that they say 'she helped me turn my life around!'

"It's when I'm shopping, it's a guy down the pub, it's everywhere we went."

During her career at Droitwich Spa High School, she went on to be head of English, head of sixth-form and then deputy head and left the school in 1999.

While deputy head she was in charge of safeguarding and helped lots of vulnerable children over the years.

She then went on to work at Birmingham Education Authority and helped the planning of several new schools in the Midlands which have since been built.

Her son Duncan said: "From a young age she wrote and directed her own plays.

"One of my earliest memories is a stage version of The Hobbit that she did.

"I work in theatre now, I'm a musical director for theatre shows.

"She inspired a lot of other children with her love of drama.

"We don't live in the area anymore, but back when we did people would always remember her.

"It was a very big school, you would so often have people remembering her positively saying she was their favourite teacher and she had inspired them.

"She was a well known and a well-liked figure.

"She was so lively and energetic but tough as well, people knew not to mess with her. 

"She was always trying to help people.

"She would never see a problem without thinking she could solve it."

Vicki was born in Colne, Lancashire and married her loving husband Patrick in 1968

The two moved up to the Midlands in 1972 and lived in Bromsgrove.

Patrick was deputy head at Bromsgrove School and was there for about 30 years.

Vicki started out in Dodderhill School before moving to Droitwich Spa High in 1981.

The two were married for more than 50 years.

Chris also reminisced on when she would tell him about her days at Oxford University and met the soon-to-be cast of Monty Python.

He said: "When she went to oxford she was part of Oxford University Drama Society (OUDS).

"She went to Edinburgh festival with them and met up with the members of the Cambridge footlights at the time.

"She worked with Michael Palin and Terry Jones before they were famous, she was the stage manager."

Chris explained that when his Mother went to the Edinburgh festival with these groups, she got to work on the first ever sketch review performed by the core members of Monty Python.

He added: "At the time, she just thought they were students mucking about.

"But it was always weird when it came on because she knew them all."

Vicki’s funeral is at the Guildford Crematorium at midday on February 8.