School's out for popular receptionist Christine

Receptionist Christine Woodruff who has retired from Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley.
Receptionist Christine Woodruff who has retired from Blessed Trinity RC College in Burnley.

A receptionist, who was the first to greet hundreds of pupils and their teachers first thing in the morning for a decade, has left her post for the final time.

Christine Woodruff's friendly and efficient manner made her a firm favourite at Blessed Trinity RC College and she described her time there as "the happiest in my life."

"I feel lucky to have been part of such a wonderful, dedicated team of colleagues and teachers who went above and beyond the call of duty for their pupils," said Christine (64).

"They gave their best to the children in teaching and in promoting the Catholic faith and also many other faiths and their enthusiasm rubbed off and made you want to give your all.

"I am going to miss them all very much."

A pupil at the former Ivy Bank High School in Burnley when it first opened, Christine, who originally trained as a nurse, spent 18 years working as a store detective for Boot's chemist. The job took her to a variety of places including the Lake District, Yorkshire and Manchester.

She became office manager as St Theodore's and St Hilda's RC high schools were merged to become Blessed Trinity, working initially at the Kiddrow Lane site. When the brand new school opened in Ormerod Road, Christine became receptionist.

As someone who loves being with people, the job was perfect for Christine. Dealing with upset, anxious or angry parents became part of Christine's daily routine who was also the first port of call for many children with questions, problems and funny stories they wanted to tell her.

And Christine would astound people as she appeared to know the names of all the students in the school!

She said: "The children were wonderful and some of the things they used to say would make me laugh."

After enjoying the summer break with her husband Stephen, Christine is planning to do some voluntary work in the future and also spend more time with her two children, two step children and eight grandchildren who are the pride of her life.

A special leaving presentation was held for Christine where headteacher Mr Richard Varey presented Christine with a selection of cards, gifts and flowers from colleagues, students and parents.

Christine said: "I have been overwhelmed by the amount of gifts and good wishes I have received and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone.

"The gifts started coming in about a month ago, people have been so kind."