IT’S the end of an era as two teachers, who have collectively clocked up over 75 years at the same school, retire.
Pete Dimond has been an English teacher at Aldworth School for 35 years, while his colleague Derek Dicker has taught PE for 42 years.
Mr Dimond, 64, started his career in Worthing where he taught for six years before taking up a post at Aldworth as head of remedial, working his way up to head of Year 10.
The father-of-three, who also has four stepchildren, set up Aldworth’s girls’ basketball club in 1978, and he will continue running it in his retirement.
He said: “We have three teams. They are very successful. We have been England champions for schools three times. At one time, we had been to national finals more than any other school in the country.”
The grandfather-of-11 said he will also continue serving as a magistrate at Aldershot court in his retirement.
He is the second longest-serving magistrate in north Hampshire, having started in 1982, and said: “The school has always supported that.”
Mr Dimond said he will miss the staff and pupils at Aldworth, in Western Way, adding: “We have a good strong staff here. I feel it’s become almost a way of life rather than a job. I’m proud of the school and what it’s achieved. All three of my children came here.”
Mr Dicker, 66, started his career at a school in Reading before returning to his home town of Basingstoke to take up a post at Aldworth.
The father-of-two, who also has two stepchildren, grew up in Old Basing, and said: “I came here as a junior member of the PE department. I’m now head of PE and head of Year 8.”
The grandfather-of-nine recalled one of his highlights at Aldworth as being a Guinness World Record attempt in the 1980s to play hockey for the longest time. The school managed to break the record, playing continuous hockey for 30 hours.
Both teachers agreed that an emphasis on technology has contributed to their decision to retire.
Mr Dimond said: “It’s getting to the stage where I’m finding the job more tiring and everything is technology driven, and I’m not the world’s best computer guy – it’s becoming a young person’s job.”
But both agree that they will be sad to leave.
Mr Dicker said: “I have enjoyed all of it. If I think back, there are few days where I thought ‘what a day that was!’”
Mr Dimond added: “No two days are the same. Even though you have a timetable, different things happen.”