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Caretaker to leave Marlow school after 26 years

James Harrison

After more than a quarter of a century a school caretaker and ex-coal miner is preparing to hang up his mop and bucket for the last time.

Graham Brown, who has worked at Marlow Church of England Infants School, in Sandygate Road, for 26 years, is due to retire on Friday, March 31 — the last day of the spring term.

Originally from Harworth, near Doncaster, the 64-year-old grandfather-of-three has seen thousands of children pass through during his time in Buckinghamshire.

"I'm going to miss the kids I suppose, most of the time they're fine," he said.

"There's nothing really that I'm not going to miss, I enjoy every day.

"And I like to think they [the children] will miss me as well."

After nine years as a coal miner at Harworth Colliery he moved to High Wycombe to take a job at the Hamilton School in 1986 after being told about the vacancy by his brother, who was also a caretaker at a school in Downley.

Mr Brown, who's wife Georgina was also a school caretaker until she retired about four years ago, moved to Marlow in 1990.

The school was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2011.

He said: "There's been tremendous changes while I've been here.

"We've extended the place and we've got bigger and it's always over-subscribed.

"But it's a lovely school with nice staff to work for."

He added: "I just get on with everybody - it's great, I will miss it a lot."

He is now looking forward to spending time in the garden of his home in Deanfield Close, particularly taking care of his 'stripy lawn'.

A keen sports fan, he also regularly travels to watch Doncaster Rovers FC and will be at Adams Park, in High Wycombe, next month to watch them take on Wycombe Wanderers and celebrate his retirement, as well as his 65th birthday.

"We're going to really miss him - he's part of the Sandygate family," said headteacher Sharon Reynolds.

"At the moment we're not sure what route we're going to take [to find a replacement] but there are going to be some big shoes to fill.

"The children adore him."

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