Lift-off at a retirement party to remember

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UP, up and away – memories of more than 60 years of service to Sheffield schools took to the skies in a mass balloon release.

The event marked the retirement of Halfway Infant School headteacher Malcolm Lee after nearly 22 years’ service.

And it was also goodbye to the school’s longest serving member of staff Sylvia Hughes, who had worked at Halfway for a remarkable 39 years.

The afternoon began with a special assembly for all the school, before the balloons were set free by pupils.

Every child in the school had written a message for their own balloon, containing either best wishes for the future or a special memory of Mr Lee or Mrs Hughes.

Deputy head Steve Varnham said the pair had received an array of farewell presents, including a stone garden owl, a fountain pen set and a digital camera for Malcolm, and a rose bush, vouchers and a diamond bracelet for Sylvia.

“It was an absolutely fantastic day,” he added.