Octogenarian Essex teacher retires from the classroom

Bob Pennifold is retiring as Maths teacher at Tendring Technology College at the age of 87.

Bob Pennifold is retiring as Maths teacher at Tendring Technology College at the age of 87. - Credit: Su Anderson

A maths teacher has retired aged (43x2)+1. (87)

Bob Pennifold began teaching in 1977 in what was his third career.

He joined the Royal Navy aged 16 in 1945 and served four years in the Pacific, before becoming an officer with Essex Police where he rose to the rank of sergeant serving grays and Tilbury.

After leaving the police force he re-trained as a teacher and took on his first role at Colbayns High School, in Clacton.

For the past 12 years he has taught at Tendring Technology College.

Mr Pennifold, who lives in Great Clacton, said: “I could really still go for another 10 years, I am still young and full of life, and no doubt I will go back and help out.

“However for the past 25 years I’ve worked as a volunteer at St Helena Hospice in Colchester so I will probably do a lot more there now.

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“I have taught so many wonderful people, who have gone on in life and made massive headway in their profession.

“My last lesson was very emotional, I had to hurry away. My colleagues wanted to say goodbye but it was too emotional, I had to rush off.”

Richard Blanes, maths curriculum leader at Tendring Technology College whose father worked with Mr Pennifold at his first job, said: “He is truly an amazing man and I hope one day to scratch the surface of all that he has achieved.

“I am extremely lucky to count Bob as a dear friend and it has been my honour to have worked with him.

“I can’t imagine not having Bob in my life and indeed this will not happen, as we both enjoy the odd card game or two.

“Perhaps the greatest loss to our department will be his laughter, which can be heard throughout our building whenever he is here.

“I can only hope I can be like him at 87-years-old.

“He is indeed my hero and a legend to those who know him and in that I count myself as very lucky indeed.”