Children and staff at Westcroft School, Bideford, said goodbye at half-term to Mr F C Balsdon who retired after being caretaker since the school opened in 1958.
Lindsay Tucker and Neil Hole presented Mr Balsdon with a portable radio and a card signed by all the pupils, many of whom are seen in the picture.
Later, in the presence of present and former school managers, the headmaster, Mr J Y Jenn, praised Mr Balsdon’s loyal service and presented him with a cassette tape recorder from colleagues and friends.
Until his appointment as school caretaker Mr Balsdon was for 31 years a gardener at Moreton House, Bideford, for the Stucley family. During the war he served with the Royal Artillery in North Airlea, Sicily, and in Italy where he was wounded.
Mr and Mrs Balsdon live at 86 Meddon Street.
The full Gazette article is dated 25 February 1977