TEACHERS and pupils paid an emotional tribute ahead of the final farewell to a much-loved former headteacher.
Ken Watson, 88, who died last week, was the life governor at Manor College of Technology, in Hartlepool.
The dad-of-two, who dedicated more than 65 years of service to the local education sector, was also a former headteacher at the Owton Manor Lane-based school.
His funeral took place at St George’s United Reformed Church, in Park Road, yesterday, prior to interment at Stranton Grange Cemetery.
And as the cortege drove past his beloved Manor, staff and students lined the roadside with heads bowed in tribute to Mr Watson.
Current headteacher Alan White, who represented the school at the funeral, described Mr Watson as “bright, funny and always full of encouragement”.
Mr White said: “He was still massively involved with Manor as life president of the Foundation Governing Body and his very last duty was to take part in the selection of the college’s new head boy and head girl on May 20.
“He was at his best on these occasions and loved being with the children.
“He was bright, funny and as always full of encouragement for each of the 20 children presented before him.
“He had a special gift for story-telling and he remains the only guest speaker at Manor who routinely received spontaneous applause from our children.”