Final farewell for college’s stalwart

Christine Naylor, Office Manager at Birley Community College
Christine Naylor, Office Manager at Birley Community College
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GENERATIONS of school pupils will recognise Christine Naylor.

Until two weeks ago, she was the longest-serving staff member at Birley Community College, having clocked up 37 years of canteen lunches and school bells.

But the 67-year-old office manager has now retired to follow other interests - and says she has many fond memories of her time at the school.

Christine, of Thornbridge Avenue, said: “It’s been a difficult decision, because I have loved every day working here.

“There are still people who come up to reception saying ‘do you remember me’ - then I realise their children or grandchildren are at Birley now.

“My three children came here, two grandchildren as well, and my husband did some supply work, so it has not just been a job, it has been part of my life for a long time.”

Holidays and volunteering for the Motor Neurone Disease Association – a cause close to Christine’s heart as late husband Bill was a sufferer – are now on her timetable.

When she joined a school of 900 children, it was as a clerical assistant.

She said: “I have seen quite a lot of changes, Birley used to have a sixth-form and classes where youngsters would learn to cook and iron and clean.

“There have been some sad times as well, but the spirit of the school shows then and everyone pulls together.

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with staff. They are not just colleagues, but friends and I hope that will continue.”

Christine and colleagues marked her departure with a meal at the Mercure Sheffield St Paul’s Hotel in Norfolk Street.

Steve Robinson, college principal, said: “We wish her well in all that she has planned.”