Lots and lots of past pupils, staff, parents and governors gathered at school on Sunday 2nd of July to bid a fond farewell to Steve Fairclough, Tom Palmer and Gordon Selwyn. After fourteen years at the helm, Steve Fairclough is leaving school to enjoy a well-earned retirement in the Isle of Wight and the Abbotsholmians’ Club and the Abbotsholme Parents’ Association came together to organise a celebration to say goodbye and good luck.
Steve had requested a fete with traditional games, so in true Abbotsholme style we hung a tarpaulin between a tractor and a JCB and set up a coconut shy. We were incredibly lucky to have a glorious day and we enjoyed a delicious hog roast, strawberries and cream and imbibed lots of alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments whilst trying our hands at ‘mini golf’ and ‘catch the rat’. It was lovely to be able to catch up with old friends and see familiar faces from the past. A good showing of current parents and staff meant we were able to give a rousing send off to our long term staff departees.
The school will miss their contributions and we wish them well in their future endeavours. Gordon Selwyn is offering his maths skills as a private tutor, which I am sure will be most welcome amongst the local children. Tom Palmer and his wife, Emma, are setting off for far pastures as they are going to Kazahkstan on a two year contract where I am sure his orienteering skills will come in useful whilst climbing the many mountains surrounding Almaty, where he will be based.
The Abbotsholmian Parents’ Association organised a presentation where Steve, Tom and Gordon were given hand painted and framed pictures by a local artist highlighting the various contributions they have made to the school, in Gordon’s case, over the last thirty years. Steve was also presented with a garden taming tool as he will be needing to tame his garden in the Isle of Wight. The Abbotsholmians’ Club presented him with a firepit, inscribed with ‘Glad Day, Love and Duty’. I trust that he will enjoy his newly trimmed garden and be able to burn the cuttings in his new firepit whilst relaxing in his new life. Hopefully we will see them at Abbotsholmians' Club celebrations in the future.