Stoke Newington mum goes to Buckingham Palace with her daughter to get MBE

A celebrated Stoke Newington-born teacher went to Buckingham Palace with her proud 81-year old mum to receive an honour from the Queen.

Marie Erwood has spent 35 years educating and inspiring secondary-school pupils and accepted an MBE for services to education on November 3, after she was included in the Queen’s birthday honours list, announced in June.

Her mother, Jan Burman, who lives in Benthal Road, described the Queen as “beautiful.”

“We were really close to her where we were sitting. She walked right by us, we could have touched her,” said Mrs Burman who has lived in Stoke Newington for 61 years and who still works for charity shop Oxfam in Dalston.

Mrs Burman’s enthusiasm was not dimmed by the enthusiastic welcome of a group of sightseers: “I was bombarded by Japanese tourists. They were all hugging me and taking pictures”, she said.


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Born and bought up in Stoke Newington, Mrs Burman’s daughter Mrs Erwood attended Fleetwood Primary School, which no longer exists, and later Dalston County School (now The Petchey Academy), in Shacklewell Lane, before studying history at Bedford College at the University of London.

Describing the occasion as “the proudest moment of my life,” Mrs Erwood said the Queen shook her hand and pinned the medal to her jacket.

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“She asked me what did I teach; I said history, and she said ‘that is a very important subject for children to learn at school.’”

Mrs Erwood has taught generations of schoolchildren in Harlow, near to where she now lives in Cheshunt, and has remained in contact with many former pupils.

“We had a big party in June and people came from all over the country, I had emails from all over the world.”

“I think I was always destined to be a teacher”, she said.

“I was always very bossy. It used to be a ritual when I was younger, I used to herd all the children up to Clissold Park and make them play at being at ‘teachers.’”

Mrs Erwood believes growing up in Stoke Newington has been a strong influence on her educational career and achievements in promoting cultural diversity.

Stewards School, where she now works, was the first school in Essex to win the prestigious Cultural Diversity Quality Standard Gold Award in May.

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