A SCHOOL’S flag was flown at half mast as a mark of respect to a tragic town student as tributes flooded into a Facebook page set up in his memory.
Manor College of Technology, in Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, set its flag flying at half mast in memory of its former pupil James Houghton who died at the Leeds Festival on Sunday night.
The move was initiated to also show support for the family of the much-loved 19-year-old, whose mum Paula Houghton is a deputy year leader at Manor.
The school’s chairman of governors Frank Reid said: “We decided to fly the flag at half mast to mark the loss of one of our school’s most respected pupils and also to show support for his family at this terribly sad time, with his mum of course being a member of our staff.”
Meanwhile, a tribute page called “Our James” has been set up on the social networking site for people to share their memories of James, who also studied at Hartlepool Sixth Form College where he recently achieved three A-levels.
Dozens of people have left messages of condolence to James’ mum, dad Pete, and sister Jenny, including Michael Rose who wrote: “Sorry to hear about James. Proper good kid. Many a kick about as nippers.”
Sharon Mann said: “So sorry to hear such sad news my thoughts and love go out to you all. xx”
Marie Chapman added: “Hugs and love to you Paula, Peter and Jenny. x It makes that lovely hour we spent together on the marina just a few weeks ago more special to remember. xxx”
Liz Larkin wrote: “So sad, our deepest sympathy goes to his family at this very sad time, sleep tight James and God bless. x Liz and Tony Larkin and family.”
Elaine Boarder said: “Paula, my heart goes out to you and all your family. Words can’t describe the loss of a child, but with all your beautiful memories, James will live on forever. RIP James. X”
And Faye Charlton said: “What a beautiful family. I was the lucky girl who got to babysit Jenny and James. The fun and mischief we got up to...The most beautiful little boy. All my love to a truly amazing family. x”
As well as the online tributes, Hartlepool Sixth Form College’s acting principal Carole Horseman contacted the Mail to offer a tribute in a statement, which read: “This is a terrible tragedy for James and his family. He had just achieved good A-level grades of B,B,C in history, maths and biology and was due to take-up his place at Manchester Metropolitan University to read history.
“James was a bright and popular student and our sympathies go out to his family.”
James had gone to the festival, held at Bramham Park, in Leeds, with a group of friends. He fell ill and collapsed somewhere on the site and was taken to an on-site medical facility where medics tried to help him around 11.22pm.
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said James was pronounced dead on the festival site.
Officers are not treating his death as suspicious at this stage and an inquest is due to be opened once a post mortem has been carried out and a report produced.
l Leave your tributes to James at www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk at the bottom of this story online.