After more than 70 years of combined service, a Melksham primary school is preparing to say goodbye to some of its best-known faces.

Carol Fountain and Sue Parselle have both spent more than 25 years working at Forest and Sandridge CofE Primary School and are due to retire at the end of the term.

Former pupils are invited to join them at a garden party at the school on Friday, which will also mark the retirement of teacher Anthea Courage after 17 years.

Mrs Fountain joined the school 26 years ago, and has taught every year group.

She said: “It hasn’t sunk in yet, it will be strange in September not coming back, but I’m looking forward to a well-deserved retirement.

“I’m teaching children now whose parents I also taught, so that’s very strange.

“I’m going to miss the camaraderie of the staff, and the fun that the children provide.”

Teaching assistant Sue Parselle started at the school as a dinner lady 29 years ago, and has seen the school more than double in number, from 70 to over 200 pupils.

She said: “I’m going to miss all the teaching staff and the friends I have made here, but I only live a couple of minutes away, so we are all going to keep in touch.

“The party will be lovely; I hope to see some old faces come along.”

The afternoon cream tea will take place from 4pm on Friday at the school.

All former pupils, parents or staff are invited, but are asked to RSVP first via

Fellow teacher Anna Willis said: “We are really sorry to see them go.

“They are greatly loved members of staff and will be a huge loss to our school.”