Michael ends 50-year connection with school

Retiring teacher Michael Carradice at Marsden Heights Community College. (S)
Retiring teacher Michael Carradice at Marsden Heights Community College. (S)

A Pendle education specialist is about to retire from the school he has been connected with for more than 50 years!

Mr Michael Carradice (63) first walked through the doors of what was then Nelson Secondary Technical School at Edge End in Nelson in August, 1962.

Michale Carradice and his brother in school uniform. (S)

Michale Carradice and his brother in school uniform. (S)

He was a young pupil rather than a teacher then, of course, but he has worked there as a member of staff for 40 years, too. Born in Colne, his mother Sylvia had a shop in the town and his father George worked at the Co-op before becoming caretaker at Primet Primary.

The technical school he went to as a pupil was later renamed Edge End High School and was then replaced by the Marsden Heights Community College as Edge End and Mansfield High Schools merged.

When he first went to Edge End he followed his older brother Stephen. He said: “No one would have expected that this was to be the start of an almost uninterrupted association with the school, lasting over 50 years!”

He is retiring from his job as the college’s Senior Attendant Officer, a post he has held for the last four years. When he left Edge End in June, 1970, he went to Darlington Teacher Training College.

He then taught briefly at a school in Middlesbrough but in 1974 he went back to Edge End as a geography teacher. He has worked with four heads – Dr Donald Proud, Dr Paul Mortimer, Mr Martin Burgess and current Marsden Heights head Mr Mike Tull. Mr Carradice, who is married to Christine, said: “I didn’t remain a subject teacher for long. I became head of geography in 1980, then Head of Year, Head of Upper School and in 1997 completed an MSc in education management, while continuing my teaching role at the school.”

Following his graduation, he was seconded to the Pupils Out of School Project at County Hall, Preston, then returned to Edge End as assistant headteacher.

Under the reorganisation in 2006, Mr Carradice decided to move into the attendance field.

His association with the school is more than a professional one and it is with some reluctance that Michael retires. The Edge End closure was an emotional time and the successful amalgamation of the two schools has been assisted by his long experience.

He said: “The numbers of pupils I have seen is countless, and walking around town, local shops, visits to hospitals and even relaxing on television, I see faces that I taught or have passed through Edge End and Marsden Heights while I have been there!”

He has worked with thousands over the years – and some are now famous, of course. For instance, there is TV antiques expert Eric Knowles; TV banking star and Colne business boss David Fishwick; film, TV and theatre actors John Simm, Lee Ingleby, David Bardsley, Muzz Khan and James Buller; popular local artist David Lyons; successful international artist Shahida Ahmed; Barnfield Construction boss Tim Webber and the school’s Mash Hussain, who was awarded an OBE. Michael will have his last day in school on Friday, and on Saturday, April 26th, former students from 1973 to 2012 are invited to his farewell event at the college. Contact attendance officer Saiqa Irshad on email: sirshad@marsdenheights.lancs.sch.uk

And on Thursday, May 1st, former and present colleagues will be attending a second event. Marsden Heights head Mr Tull said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Michael for the last eight years, during which the utmost respect which he commands with our parents and staff is testament to the quality of relationships which he has developed over the years.

“He has made a significant contribution to the success here and rose to the challenge of dealing with the demise of his beloved Edge End with customary professionalism.

“Michael is a loyal servant to Marsden Heights, the memory of Edge End and all who have passed through their doors.

“He is regarded with the utmost respect by all who know him. I will miss his daily humour but will ensure that his close ties with us remain.

“I wish him every happiness in his richly deserved 
future retirement.”