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Pilmuir secretary Phyl Bradley retires after 34 years at the Forres primary school

By Garry McCartney

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Phyl Bradley hard at work helping to keep Pilmuir Primary running.
Phyl Bradley hard at work helping to keep Pilmuir Primary running.

A MUCH-loved school secretary is retiring.

Phyl Bradley hangs up the phone and switches off her computer for the last time today, having helped run Pilmuir Primary since May 1987.

Phyl’s daughter Samantha attended the school, as did her other daughter Vikki, grandson Bradley (16) and niece and nephew James and Amy (both 12).

Samantha said: “Mum started when I was in P6. She worked in the dinner hall and in the playground at lunchtime, and always kept us kids in line. When I went back as a parent, it was great to see the respect other parents and pupils had for her. She knows every child that passed through the gates.”

Twins James and Amy’s dad, Craig Ross, confirmed Phyl was a great help before they left for Forres Academy.

He said: “They said she is very kind, friendly, easy to talk to and helps the pupils. She once took them for basketball in P4 when their teacher had to leave the class – they said it was so much fun!”

The twins also told Craig that Phyl put the children at ease during the pandemic and explained what they needed to do – from where sanitisers were to which direction to go.

He added: “Having left Pilmuir, it’s Mrs Bradley the twins miss most.”

Carolyn Carrington has been friends with Samantha for decades, but claimed it was only when her daughter Keira (16) started at Pilmuir 12 years ago that she realised what an integral part of the school Phyl is.

Carolyn said: “My eldest son Kayden started P1 last year and my youngest AJ this year. Once again, there was Mrs Bradley!

“She’s always on hand. The kids love her – she takes such care and interest. It’s Mrs Bradley who looks after them if they’ve had an accident or aren’t feeling well, and it’s her who keeps parents right with admin. She’ll be missed.”

Former colleague, Leslie Tulloch, also appreciates the school stalwart.

He said: “I taught there for seven years then returned as head teacher for seven as well. I would see a new parent heading towards the door and Phyl would tell me who they were and when they or their family had been in the school. She would also remind me if I had taught them! She is a bright and cheerful presence. The community will miss her.”

Finally, Pilmuir’s current acting head, Helen Thorley, also believes the school will never be the same without Phyl.

She said: “The school has changed significantly and she has remained a rock. Her depth of knowledge about the community has been invaluable.

“It’s been a privilege to work with her and benefit from her experience and commitment.”

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