Story chair is in Derek’s memory

This Is Lancashire: Derek Lomas’ grandson Simon, middle, with reception pupils at St Mary’s CE Primary School Derek Lomas’ grandson Simon, middle, with reception pupils at St Mary’s CE Primary School

A handcrafted tribute to a former governor has been unveiled at a primary school.

Derek Lomas, of Quarlton Drive, died in May, aged 80, after a period of ill health, and his work at St Mary’s CE Primary in Bolton Road, Hawkshaw, has been commemorated with a special storytelling chair.

The chair was carved by Mr Lomas’ son-in-law, Malcolm Yates, and is in the school’s playground, with an inscription reading Once Upon a Time.

Mr Lomas became a governor at the school in 1999, and was the school’s chairman of governors for nine years.

He played a leading role in the rebuilding of the school in 2003, and was involved in the smooth transfer of pupils into the school from neighbouring Affetside Primary and St Paul’s School when they were closed.

He also brought a wealth of business experience and had strong links to the diocese and the Ramsbottom Rotary club.

Mr Lomas left his wife Elizabeth, and was father to Ann, Ian and Matthew and father-in-law to Malcolm, Vikki and Natalie.

Mr Lomas’ children and grandchildren attended St Mary’s and his grandson Simon is currently in Year Six.

Mr Lomas gained a degree from Oxford University, and was always keen to share his knowledge with others.

Mr Lomas also took a keen interest in sport, and the tribute was inspired by his love of storytelling, and to help inspire future generations to follow his lead.

Sue Wardle, acting headteacher at St Mary’s, said the chair would be cherished by teachers, pupils, and members of the local community.

Mrs Wardle said: “Derek made a huge contribution to our school and the community of Hawkshaw. He was a gentleman, such a lovely man.

“We are proud to honour his memory with the storytelling chair and his legacy will continue to inspire learning for many more years to come.”

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