The retirement of a school caretaker described as a "Chater man through and through" was marked with a party attended by pupils and staff.

Michael Perry has worked in Chater Junior School since it opened in Addiscombe Road in 1988, making sure the building is secure and the classrooms are clean and tidy.

He retired from the role of caretaker yesterday (Wednesday), on his 70th birthday, at a celebratory event attended by past and current staff, pupils, and mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill.

Peter McEntee, headteacher, said: "We spoke to the children about how it was Michael’s birthday and the week he was due to retire, so it was a double celebration.

"The children made cards for him with messages inside and I talked about some of the things that he has done for the school over the years and we all sang happy birthday.

"He also wore the birthday hat, which is for children who have a birthday while at school. It is like a cake with candles on the top."

Mr Perry was presented with a traditional pendulum clock and a silver plate with a message about retirement inscribed on it.

He was also given a box of his favourite shortbread biscuits.

Mr McEntee added: "He’s gone way above and beyond what most people would do, to work to the age of 70. He was always very willing to help and was very kind and friendly.

Watford Observer:

Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill congratulates Michael.

"He’s a Chater man through and through, it’s in his blood. I did have a few concerns with what he would do with his time but he works for Peace Hospice Care so will spend his time volunteering.

"At the end of the day we had 50 past and present members of staff, including former head teachers. It really was a trip down memory lane."