As another term draws to a close and as thoughts turn to the imminent Christmas and New Year celebrations, it is time to bid farewell to a stalwart of Shrewsbury School – Barrie Morris, Chargehand of the Works Department, who is retiring after nearly thirty eight years of loyal service to the school.
After completing his apprenticeship as a bricklayer and working for several building firms, Barrie joined the Works Department in February 1975 a few years before his 30th birthday. It was not long before he realised just what was expected of the maintenance team in those days and he was soon turning his hand to anything that was asked of him.
It would be impossible to describe a typical day for Barrie, as he has dealt with thousands of work tickets over the years. He could start a day working in a cellar only to find himself on a roof a few hours later, having dealt with several tasks in between. He has turned his hand to just about anything that has been asked of him and he has never knowingly failed to respond to an ‘out of hours’ call out request. He has unblocked countless drains and replaced hundreds, probably thousands, of broken roof tiles in between patching an almost infinite number of holes in study walls. He has bailed out more cellars and basements than he cares to remember, has rescued pontoons that have drifted off towards the weir, herded cattle back into Becks’ Field, parked cars on Speech Day, dealt with innumerable wasps & ants nests and along the way was part of the team that re-roofed Main School Building – not exactly a small project in itself! He has monitored the swimming pool water and maintained its high quality for many years and his knowledge of the site and the infrastructure is second to none.
Barrie is known and respected not only by his work colleagues but by many suppliers and contractors to the school who have worked alongside him over the years. He will be missed and a hard act to follow but we do know that he will not be idle as there are a respectable number of works tickets at home awaiting his attention.
Over the years Barrie has seen huge changes in the School, in the people who live and work here, in its management and the development of the site. As with any job there have been times when his patience has been sorely tried but it is to be hoped that he leaves us with far more happy memories!
Thirty eight years of loyal service is an incredible achievement and Barrie enters what we hope will be a long and happy retirement with our best wishes and an open invitation to call in and see us whenever he is passing.