Tributes to retired Colne teacher who 'influenced lives of thousands'

A well-respected teacher of 'the old school' who had a positive influence on the lives of thousands of Pendle schoolchildren has died aged 89.
Richard GrahamRichard Graham
Richard Graham

Mr Richard Graham taught woodwork, technical drawing and metalwork at Park High School, Colne, for some 30 years, a position which earned him the respect of generations of pupils.

Born in Blackburn, Mr Graham started his career as an apprentice joiner working at Sleighmakers in the town before becoming a qualified joiner at Calderstones.

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An ambitious man, he applied for a woodwork teaching post at Park High School in 1960, and despite having no teaching qualifications, forged a successful career.

His devoted wife Marie died five years ago, but Mr Graham was still living at home in Higherford, driving and making objects up until recently.

Son Neil said: "My dad was a teacher of the old school. He must have had a positive influence on the lives of thousands of schoolchildren over the years. Many, indeed, would have owed their careers to him as he always kept his eyes and ears open for any suitable jobs for his pupils.

"Many will also remember him from school trips, particularly camping trips to Spain in the 1970s, which would have been rare for that time. Dad was a very practical man, who even up to his death was still fixing things around and even on the house."

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Mr Graham, who had a minor operation in November, had bore his recent ailments with stoical courage according to his son. He also leaves a daughter Janet and grandchildren Emma and Katie.

Neil added: "Dad was very proud of his children and very well-regarded by his neighbours and former pupils. He will be sadly missed."

His funeral will be held at 3pm on Thursday January 31st at Carleton Crematorium Skipton.