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School's farewell to stalwart duo

PUBLISHED: 09:10 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:37 14 July 2010

Sheila Bowen and Malcolm Court

Sheila Bowen and Malcolm Court

Mulbarton Junior School said goodbye to Sheila Bowen, a teacher at the school for 18 years and to Malcolm Court, caretaker for the last 12 years.

Ms Bowen started at the school when a Mr Dixon was head teacher, in a class that included her own daughter, Gemma, and has over the years taught at every age level.

Mulbarton Junior School said goodbye to Sheila Bowen, a teacher at the school for 18 years and to Malcolm Court, caretaker for the last 12 years.

Ms Bowen started at the school when a Mr Dixon was head teacher, in a class that included her own daughter, Gemma, and has over the years taught at every age level.

“Teaching is the best job in the world” she said and noted that, despite constant tinkering with schools and the curriculum, little had really changed over the years. Asked what she would miss most in her retirement her answer was simply “the children.”

This summer Sheila is off to Singapore with the South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band, then travelling on to Australia to visit one of her oldest friends who she has known for 50 years before finishing her travels with a three-week break in France.

As well as spending more time with her family, she plans to keep busy growing vegetables on an allotment and is keen for her children to teach her the saxophone and steel drums.

Mr Court became the caretaker 12 years ago having previously been self-employed as a plasterer. He felt that, if anything, the job had become slightly easier over the years with new flooring needing less maintenance. He remembered that the old hall floor in particular had previously needed scrubbing every day. He could only recall the school being closed on two occasions during his tenure because of a broken boiler and heavy snow.

Asked about any disasters he brought to mind the time quite recently when he had become stuck in the school pond while trying to retrieve footballs and had had to be winched out in his waders.

He will be continuing his work with the Mulbarton Scouts and may keep his hand in with occasional odd jobs.

Headteacher Beulah Chatten thanked Sheila and Malcolm for all of their work over the years and presented them each with a large book including photographs of all the classes and a personal message from every child in the school.

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