It is with great sadness that we learned of the death in February of Allan Ward who taught at Carlton le Willows for an amazing 37 years! Although it didn't seem that way at the time, it's evident that he wasn't actually that much older than we were in 1973. The photograph here sums him up perfectly. An excellent teacher but always prepared to make learning fun. His stewardship of our field trip to the Lake District will never be forgotten! It began for me a lifelong love of the Lakes and I visit every year to get a bit of fresh air. I can never sit on Grasmere village green, or walk round Rydal water or climb Loughrigg or Hellvellyn without thinking of that week.

Speaking personally he must have had a great influence on me, along with Fred Lee, as I went on to do a geography degree at Manchester University.

Several of you have emailed me about Mr Ward and your comments are below (I hope you don't me using them here)- feel free to send me any others and I'll include them.

"I'm sorry to bring such awful news - I know he was a very special teacher, especially to all of you who so enjoyed the geography field trips, and wasn't he a lovely man. I can't believe it. "

Sally Mcree

"Very sad news about Mr Ward. He taught my son Mark Geography up to 1996, so I saw him at Parents Evenings, as you say a lovely man with a great sense of humour"

Kathryn May

"It has stopped me In my tracks today to hear the sad news about Alan Ward - he and Terry O'Toole brought subjects to life for me. I was wondering if you knew any more and if there is any kind of memorial fund or perhaps something that we could do in recognition of his contribution to our education."

Fiona Ellis

"How very very sad. He was such a nice man and well respected teacher. It was like old times in more ways than one when he showed us around the school at the reunion. It also makes you think as we all hit that dreaded age of 50 that you never know what's around the corner and we shouldn't all be saying 'when I retire I'll ....' - we need to be enjoying the present and not worrying too much about the future."

Kath Clark

"Al Ward was really my inspiration to go into teaching - lovely man with no frills"

Tats

This man must have been really special - remember these comments are from people who have seen him maybe once in 30 years!

Fiona asked whether the school is doing anything to honour Mr Ward - they are setting up a bursary to benefit the Geography Department at Sheffield University where he did his degree.