Book inspired by school day recollections

Simon Leak in Botswana training the anti poaching rangers.
Simon Leak in Botswana training the anti poaching rangers.
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An event that took place more than 40 years ago provided the inspiration for a former army officer to write a book about his old primary school.

Simon Leak has put pen to paper to recall his experiences as a pupil at Halton Holegate Primary School in the 1960s and 70s.

Former pupil Simon Leak has written a book about his time at Halton Holegate Primary School

Former pupil Simon Leak has written a book about his time at Halton Holegate Primary School

An ex-sergeant major in the Parachute Regiment Simon had been in contact with former school pals through the Friends Reunited website.

Sharing their recollections led Simon to contact the head teacher Damian Sunter and he was invited to the school to talk about his time there.

Simon said: “My friend Phil and I were tasked to go into the attic to hunt mice. While wasting as much time as we could up there we hid some tin boxes with ‘treasure’ and written notes for boys in the future.

He added: “I wondered if the boxes might still be hidden in the same places we left them back in 1972 and was delighted to be invited back to the school and had a great day chatting to the kids.

“As they were leaving at home time I got to crawl back into what was a much smaller attic than I remembered.”

Simon, 54, promised to write a story or two about his experiences during the visit and after starting realised there was enough for a small book.

A section of the book is a history of the school taken mainly from diaries written in 1863.

Project manager Simon is currently working in Botswana for eight months of the year training anti poaching rangers. The book was written over four years - in between Simon and his family renovating their cottage in rural Herefordshire.

Simon said: “The school has changed a lot in 40 years. There were only two teachers back then and the infants classroom doubled up as hall and dining room.

Halton School has now doubled in size, it is alive, colourful and vibrant with loads of teachers and staff. And did I find our tins of treasure in the attic? You will have to buy the book.”

Copies of the book can be purchased at Halton Holegate Primary School.