A PRIMARY school headteacher was given a surprise socially-distanced leaving party to mark her retirement after 41 years working in education.

Elizabeth Hargreaves joined Feniscowles Primary School in Blackburn in 1982 and what followed was a fulfilling career, which saw her perform duties as a class teacher and deputy head before becoming headteacher in 1997.

Miss Hargreaves, who is 64 and originally from Blackburn, started her teaching career at Longshaw Junior School in 1979, and has touched the hearts of many children who have passed through her care over the last six decades.

Current deputy headteacher Caroline Aughton said: “Elizabeth has inspired so many people and provided opportunities for both staff and children to aspire to.

“She has so many fond memories of her time at Feniscowles and has taught many of the current grandparents and parents of children in school.

“She will be sadly missed by us all.

“We would all like to wish Elizabeth a very long, happy and healthy retirement and thank her for her years of dedicated service to the profession.”

Leaving at the same time as Miss Hargreaves is teacher Judith Marsh, who retires from Feniscowles after 34 years.

Mrs Marsh, 59, is originally from Blackpool, and plans to enjoy retirement seeing friends and family, and taking holidays and mini breaks.

Mrs Aughton added: “I know she has many fond memories of her teaching career at Feniscowles including working with Miss Hargreaves.

“Judith will be missed by her colleagues and the children of Feniscowles.

“She has taught many children throughout her career, all of whom remember her fondly, and we would like to wish Judith a very long, happy, healthy retirement and thank her for her years of dedicated service.”

The children and staff at Feniscowles presented Mrs Marsh with memories of her time.

Rob Andrew will take over from Miss Hargreaves in September.