Rotarians pay tribute to former Bromham headmaster
Updated 9:29am Tuesday 7th January 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
Pupils Billy and Evie sitting in the chair with, from left, Audrey Forrest and Chippenham Wiltshire Vale Rotary Club members Alan Atkins and Jonathan Shipton
Pupils at St Nicholas Primary School, Bromham, are making good use of a new story-telling chair that was presented in memory of former headteacher David Forrest.
Mr Forrest was headteacher at the school for 21 years from 1972 and was a founder member of Chippenham Wiltshire Vale Rotary Club and past president and secretary.
He died last May 2013 aged 70.
The club wanted to honour him and, after discussions with Mr Forrest’s widow Audrey and the school, it bought a story-telling chair that now has pride of place in a wooded area in the school grounds.
Mrs Forrest, of Calne, was at the school for the presentation along with former staff who worked with her husband and people who were taught by him.
She said: “The story-telling chair is beautiful. I am really pleased with it and David would absolutely love it.
“It’s in a beautiful position and I can see David sitting in it telling stories. He was really good at telling stories to the children and they were stories full of fun.”
Mr Forrest became headteacher at St Nicholas at the age of 29. It was his first headship and he moved from Colchester, Essex, to take up the post. His four children all attended the school. He retired in 1993 due to ill health.
Alan Atkins, sports officer of Chippenham Wiltshire Vale Rotary Club, said: “We found the chair by looking on the internet. We chose a company called Forest Chairs in Devon and this particular chair is a one-off.
“David Forrest was a great, fun guy. You couldn’t ask to meet a nicer man.”
The chair is made of oak and carved into it are the words Once Upon A Time.
Hilary MacMeekin, headteacher of St Nicholas School, said: “The story-telling chair is lovely. The children sit in a circle around the chair and we have had a professional story teller, James Smith, in and he has used it and told stories around a camp fire. At break times the children have been using it and making up their own stories.
“The children love it. As a teacher and headteacher I like nothing more than telling stories and seeing children’s eyes light up. The chair is a really apt way of continuing David Forrest’s legacy at the school.”