At the end of the summer term, the Chipping Campden School said goodbye to two of its most esteemed teachers, Miss Margaret David, the deputy head, and Mr. Fowles, head of maths, and though inevitably there were poignant moments, the occasion on the whole was wildly hilarious and went on twice as long as planned.
The point was repeatedly made that for both teachers their retirement was not an end but a beginning. As Dr. D. E. Oliff, chairman of the governors told the large audience of parents and old scholars. ‘This is not a time for sadly looking back. It is a happy night. Both have a great new life in front of them. They will travel, they will take on projects which have lain around for years because there has not been time for them. We are not sending them out like two old Chelsea pensioners, scarred and battered by decades of class room in-fighting.’
Mr. Ian Tilbrook said he and Mr. Fowles were members of that diminishing band of teachers appointed to the old Grammar School under the previous Headmaster, Mr .W. J. Bright. Mr Fowles started in 1945 and in later years, he had become a benign father figure to some of the younger members of staff and was looked upon with the greatest affection. He was a very complete man. Apart from his teaching, he had been Commanding Officer of the schools Air Training Corps. He was a flautist, a violinist, and at one time a pillar of the local Dramatic Society. He had written two of the most successful pantomimes to have been held in Campden.
After Mr. Tilbrook’s speech which contained a good deal of leg-pulling, Mr. Fowles in reply, said he felt like a drowning man seeing his entire life flash before him. ‘retirement in anyone’s life is a milestone,’ he said, ‘and I am looking forward to it with a great deal of anticipation. The one thing I shall miss is the contact with so many people. When you have been surrounded all your life with children and colleagues and then meet just your own immediate acquaintances there is bound to be a loss though it be tempered by the peace after turmoil
Mr. A. L. Jones, headmaster, said Miss David joined the school in 1952 and immediately showed ‘horrendous’ energy in all she did. Among other things, she had put on a cracking series of plays much admired by the Press. ‘She is a superb teacher,’ he said, ‘and has wonderful intuitive understanding of working with parents and this has been a great good fortune and one of the reasons why we have had this enormous help and close relationship with parents.’
Miss David she was delighted to say goodbye under such pleasant circumstances and thanked all those associated with the school for their kindness. ‘I shall miss the satisfaction of working in a good team but Shall be staying in Campden and will keep a grandmotherly ee on the school,’ she said, ‘Thank you so much for launching me so auspiciously into my new life.’
The head girl, Jacqueline Gill, presented bouquets to Miss David and Mrs. Fowles, and the head boy, Anthony Hartwell, presented cheques to both teachers and a car radio to Mr. Fowles, and a lawn lounger chair to Miss David.