TRIBUTES have been paid to a longstanding school teacher after he retired following more than 30 years of service.

Mount Carmel R.C. High School said farewell to Design Technology and Art teacher John Clarke who retired after 33 years at the school.

Headteacher Mr Bowers said it was a 'pleasure and a privilege' to have worked with Mr Clarke and presented him with a Mount Carmel P.E. shirt signed by members of staff.

The departing teacher commented on how he had thoroughly enjoyed teaching in Accrington, in the area he had grown up in.

He recounted many amusing memories during his farewell speech and he plans on continuing his creative talents during his retirement.

A farewell staff football match was held to mark the occasion, which staff said Mr Clarke thoroughly enjoyed.

A spokesman for the school said: "He will be fondly missed and staff at Mount Carmel wish him a happy and healthy retirement."

Although Mr Clarke has officially retired he has kindly offered to ensure his current GCSE students continue to have his guidance until their exams in May.

Students at Mount Carmel returned to lessons today following the Easter break.