Lasting tribute to respected teacher

Read St John's C of E Primary School headteacher Mr David Smith reads to pupils from Mr Broadbent's memorial bench.
Read St John's C of E Primary School headteacher Mr David Smith reads to pupils from Mr Broadbent's memorial bench.

A beautiful hand carved wooden bench will be a lasting tribute to a much loved teacher.

The bench has been installed at Read Primary School in Straits Lane in memory of former teacher Mr Jim Broadbent. A teacher at the school for many years, Mr Broadbent, who was retired, died last year.

Famed for his storytelling and writing, Mr Broadbent also penned the school’s Christmas show annually.

As a tribute to him last Christmas pupils presented a show made up of all the shows he had written over the years.

But teachers, pupils and staff also wanted a more permanent memorial to Mr Broadbent so they came up with the idea of the bench.

Carved from elm and oak the bench was made by one of the parents, Mr Ben Maris.

And the poignant words “In Memory of Mr Jim Broadbent who loved storytelling....once upon a time’’ have been inscribed on a plaque.

The bench has been placed outside Mr Broadbent’s old classroom in a quiet area of the yard for pupils to sit and think and also for parents to use. Mr Broadbent’s wife, Christine and members of his family have also been to see the bench. Headteacher Mr David Smith said: “It is a wonderful and lasting tribute to Mr Broadbent.’’