SIX teachers - with a combined service of 190 years at Urmston Grammar - have been paid an emotional farewell.

Some tutors began their careers at the boys' school, others at the girls' school, before the two were amalgamated in 1988. But each remembers their time at the Newton Road establishment fondly.

Merrick Weems, a geography specialist, steps down as assistant principal and recalled how his tenure sometimes involved dealing with discipline.

He said: "I ventured into a rather unsavoury pub one evening and spotted one pupil whom I had taught, struggled with and even excluded.

"He stood up, and I feared a confrontation was on his mind. He actually walked over, shook my hand and introduced me to his father in surprisingly glowing terms.”

Mike Parker served as heads of the drama and English departments, before becoming vice-principal. He claims he only intended to stop at Urmston Grammar for three years and move on.

But he added: "The compelling reason for staying is the students. To find the spark which will ignite their passion for a subject is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have.”

His colleague Liz Parker, also bowing out, has led the maths department. Another leaver is Charlotte Clowes, from the PE department, who looked forward to sports day at Longford Park.

She added: "We all love to see our elite athletes shine, but even more special is the wonderful response to the last, lone, long-distance runner, as they enter the final straight."

Meanwhile Liz Reddington, with the school's RE section since 1993, has enjoyed "engaging with the students in philosophical and ethical discussions and debates about religion, life and the universe.”

Angus Campbell, who has led the physics department, since also arriving in 1993, said: "I have been fortunate to work with fantastic physics teachers and lab staff, and it is nice to recall the superb results from the students in that time.”