A somewhat amazing set of coincidences!


The very last long teaching contract I took at the end of a thirty-five year career was at a large High School near the town of Dereham in Norfolk. I worked within the Science Department for several months and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and sense of purpose engendered by the leadership of the Head of Department, Mike.

Sadly, this charming and charismatic man unexpectedly died soon after I retired from teaching: his wonderful work with scholars on three continents will ensure he is remembered fondly for many years...

During October, 2015, this man's name cropped up in a telephone conversation I was having with a teacher in another part of the country: he'd made my acquaintance at an astronomical conference in Coventry a week or two earlier. I mentioned what a terrific Head of Science Mike had been and continued that I hoped his great work had been carried on. I was pleased to hear that a young married couple with whom I'd also enjoyed teaching at the school had taken up the reins of the Department and continued to maintain its high standards. I hadn't met (or thought about) this couple - Sandra and Chris - for years, but was pleased to hear that their careers had blossomed.

The day after the phone conversation, my wife Linda and I popped into a large commercial estate on the outskirts of Norwich to buy some wild bird food: to my astonishment, the assistant at the till was one of my former pupils at the High School. Having chatted briefly about the turns our lives had taken, this charming young woman was kind enough to say:

" You were my favourite teacher: you, and (the married couple)!" We reminisced for a minute, before Linda and I said goodbye and walked across the large car park to 'Homebase'. As we walked into the near-empty shop, the first people we met were Sandra and Chris!