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NEWS > Alumnae News > Mrs Richardson's Tail of Life at LEH

Mrs Richardson's Tail of Life at LEH

Much-loved English teacher Caroline Richardson, who left at the end of last year, has got her retirement plans licked. She looks back at her 34 years here and reveals what lies in store next.

Much as I have loved my years at LEH, and loved knowing so many of you, staff and pupils, I was adamant that I was not going to write anything like this when I finally decided to close my mark-book for the final time.  After all, who really cares that I started my teaching career in a Sixth Form College in Norfolk at the ripe old age of 21?  Is anyone really interested to learn that I then spent six happy years in a GPDST school in Streatham?  However, I cannot just walk away without responding in a small way to all the lovely messages I have received.

Some of you may recall that I joined LEH in 1989, and that will make you feel very old.  I am forever grateful to the legendary Miss Candy and the equally legendary Mrs Crooks for employing me, although I was less grateful when I realised that I had to step far out of my comfort zone to teach A Level Theatre Studies as well as English.  We had fun in those days, dashing between LEH and Hampton for joint lessons; producing some wonderful school plays; performing ridiculous skits as a department. Who could forget the 24 hour drama event, featuring "Hazel Pulls It Off"?  I was Hazel's mother.

I returned from my second, very short maternity leave to discover that I had been appointed Head of General Studies in my absence, despite the fact that I had not applied for it. I know how some of you felt about GS, staff and students, so all I can do is apologise, although I enjoyed the variety.

I make no apologies, however, for coercing many of you into the Drama Competition/Festival. I have missed that chaos since I relinquished it a couple of years ago.  I hope you all have fond memories of it, as I do.

More recently I was Head of Holles, having been part of the original team that set up the House system.  I miss the fun associated with that too.

Having read and greatly appreciated your many kind comments after my retirement was announced, I feel I should now pursue a career in stand-up comedy. I had no idea I was so funny but I am glad that I amused you. My hope is that I also encouraged a love of literature in at least some of you.

So what next?  Well, I have gone from one pack of unruly individuals to another as I spend most of the week volunteering at hershamhounds.org.uk, a charity that strives to home retired greyhounds.  I feel no shame in giving the organisation a plug and I urge you to consider homing one of our gentle souls if you are thinking of getting a dog.

To all my former pupils I should like to say thank you, you enriched my life. I hope your careers will be as long and fulfilling as mine has been.

Caroline Richardson (Bristow)

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