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News > School News > 'I'm proud to be an Allanian' - Estates Manager Les Kirkbride retires after 15 years' service

'I'm proud to be an Allanian' - Estates Manager Les Kirkbride retires after 15 years' service

21 Oct 2022
School News

ESTATES manager Les Kirkbride has retired after 15 years’ service dedicated to the management and development of Dame Allan’s Schools.

A much-loved member of staff who has remained steadfastly committed to the ‘24/7 role’, Mr Kirkbride chose to wait until the completion of the Jubilee Building before saying goodbye to the Schools.

“It was really important for me to oversee such an important and impressive build and see it through to the end,” he said. “It’s been a crazy year with a lot of moving– out of the old building, into the temporary portacabins and storage, and then into the new development – but it’s rewarding to finally see the Jubilee Building being used and enjoyed; I feel very proud.”

Mr Kirkbride has overseen many other developments during his years at the Schools, most notably the creation of the Junior School and Nursery, as well as the refurbishment of the library, and work on the reception, food tech room, DT centre, drama room, labs 12, 13 and S6, and the new music room.

“I’ve loved seeing the school grow and thrive, it has given me so much job satisfaction,” he said.

Mr Kirkbride joined Dame Allan’s in 2007 as residential Head Caretaker, having worked as a caretaker at an independent girls’ school in Newcastle for 15 years. He was then appointed as Estates Manager and lived onsite with his wife Jane.

He admitted: “It’s be a 24/7 role that never stops… I even got a call one Christmas morning about a technical fault!”

His son Les, 32, attended Dame Allan’s Schools, and his daughter Angela, 33, now lives in Sydney, Australia.

“I’m proud to be an Allanian – to be part of a school community with such a unique and warm, friendly feel,” said Mr Kirkbride. 

“I’ve worked with many contractors over the years, and made many friends along the way. I’ll dearly miss the school and all those who are part of it, it’s been such a lovely place to work.”

Bursar and Clerk to the Governors Vicki McDonald said: “Les has played such a huge part in school life at Dame Allan’s over the last 15 years. He works so incredibly hard for all pupils, staff and visitors (sometimes at ungodly hours!) and I’m sure he is very much looking forward to some relaxation.

“He has been a huge support to me in my role but I certainly won’t be alone in missing his smiling face around school!"

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