Brentwood School is bidding a fond farewell to six stalwarts of the teaching profession retiring after a collective 143 years’ service to the School – and that doesn’t include Mr Brown’s years as a pupil!
Head of Geography Mr Neil Crosby is packing away his maps and globe after 38 years teaching at Brentwood. Since he started in September 1977, Mr Crosby has also run tennis, cricket and football teams – he was one of the first to spot Frank Lampard’s enviable talent – and until last year, he was Housemaster of North House and before that Assistant Housemaster of East House.
“I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every day of the last 38 years. I have always looked forward to coming to school every single day – although that sounds really strange.”
He added: “I won’t miss anything in particular, but what I will miss is everything – because it all comes as a complete package. It’s the entirety which will obviously leave a big gap, but I intend to be so busy that I will hardly notice it. I view it not as retirement but merely as a very long extended holiday filled with travel, relaxation, adventure and new experiences.”
Mr James Brown was no stranger to the School in 1980 when he joined to teach History, Politics and Geography having attended as a pupil from 1968 to 1975. He was even Head of School in his final year.
After university, Mr Brown started work as a graduate trainee at Barclays Bank, however, a chance encounter at a train station with his former Headmaster Mr Richard Sale (1966-1981), saw him offered a teaching job there and then.
Mr Brown highlights two memorable moments during his 35-year tenure: “I am proud to be part of the introduction of girls into the First Year in 1987 and the successful implementation of the International Baccalaureate in 2006.” He added:” I am also proud of the continuing growth of the Bursaries and Scholarships scheme and have enjoyed being part of every constituency of Brentwood School.”
For the past 10 years, Mr Brown has chaired the Friends of Brentwood School (FoBS), an association of parents and teachers that help organise social and fundraising events.
He retires as Head of First Year and Admissions but will continue his long association with the School as he becomes President of the Society of Old Brentwoods and an Admissions Associate.
Master in Charge of Cricket, Mr Brian Hardie, enjoyed a first-class cricketing career playing for Essex before joining the School’s PE Department in 1990. Over the past 25 years, many hundreds of cricketers of all ages and abilities have benefitted from his knowledge, skilful coaching and insistence on high standards.
Mr Hardie knows exactly how he wants to spend his retirement: “I intend to stay in Essex and play lots of golf.”
The close of term will also see the end of an era for Head of Drama, Mr Lindsay Jones, English Teacher, Mrs Linda Hurlock, and Design and Technology Teacher, Mr Robert Chapman.
Mr Jones joined the School in 1998 to teach English and Drama, having worked previously as a TV scriptwriter, performer and teacher. He was appointed Head of Drama in 2004.
“Brentwood School gave me the chance to stage the kind of productions I could only dream about in the previous schools I worked in,” he said.
Mrs. Hurlock began teaching English in 2000 and became Deputy Head of Year in 2006, working with Second and Third Year pupils. “I have enjoyed my time here enormously and remember particularly fondly the English Department trips to Canterbury, Cambridge, and especially The Globe Theatre where the students joined in so brilliantly with the workshops provided by the company’s actors.
“I was very ill in 2008 and the School, particularly the Headmaster, Ian Davies, David Taylor and Nigel Carr, were incredibly kind and supportive in welcoming me back after a long absence. In retirement my master plan is to travel. I have a daughter in Australia and hope to organise a big trip out to see her via Vietnam and Cambodia. I also have a son and grandson in Bolton and aim to spend more time with them and take advantage of out of term time cheap rail tickets!”
Mr Chapman has taught design and technology since 2002. Hundreds of pupils have benefited from his patient approach and practical skills in the workshop.
“Some of the best times in my 37 year teaching career have been here. I remember working with Mr Jones and Miss Karen Crane on the first Les Misérables as a one of the most rewarding events but there have been so many more. I will miss the staff all who have been so helpful and supportive and good to have around when life is getting you down. From the gardening team to my teaching colleagues all have been there for me. When I go it really will be a wrench to let such a place go.”