TRIBUTES have been paid to the former head teacher of a South Derbyshire school after he was laid to rest.
Ken Croft, of High Street, Repton, passed away at the age of 93 and was well remembered for his time in the top job at Repton Junior School in the 1970s and 1980s.
Mr Croft was born near York and went on to work at London and North Eastern Railway Company learning bookeeping and accounts after leaving school at 16.
He became a local defence volunteer before joining the RAG in 1942, serving as ground crew across the world.
During this time in India, Mr Croft signed up for an education course, paving the way for his move into teaching.
He began teacher training in Liverpool in 1948 and then taught near Sheffield for six year until 1956.
He married Gwen Fellows in 1962 and they had two sons.
In January 1966, Mr Croft was appointed head teacher at Repton Junior School and, when the junior and infants school combined in 1969, he took over the running over the bigger school.
The biggest challenge that he faced was the move from High Street to a new site in Springfield Road in 1974.
The number of pupils was 220 and the new building were not big enough to cope.
However, the county council agreed to an extension, which worked out well as the number of pupils ballooned to nearly 250.
He worked hard to bring the school up to a ‘high standard’ and retired in the Easter of 1986.
In his spare time, Mr Croft enjoyed playing cricket and refereeing.
His main hobby was his vegetable garden and bridge, which he played with people across the village of Repton throughout the years.
He also volunteered for the RSPB, served on the parish council and parochial church council, was the treasurer of the village hall committee and of the Royal British Legion Repton Branch until 2006.
During his later years, back problems resulted in a double spinal operation, which resulted in him needing increasing levels of care in the later stages of his life.
A celebration of his life was held at St Wystan’s Church, in Repton, before a cremation in Bretby.