STUDENTS past and present came together to say a fond farewell to one of Haygrove School's longest-serving teachers at a specially arranged music festival.

John Hoare, who has 38 years of teaching under his belt, is set to retire this summer and the community decided that the History and PE teacher, who's been around since 1976, should go out with a bang.

Students, staff, families and friends were treated to an extravaganza of live music performed by a host of singers and musicians from the school community including Storm Warning, the Haygrove Jazz Band, Fazed, The Purple Turtles, The Hardley Fentons, Lake House Grace, The Targets, Pulse and ex student Georgia Handel performed an operatic solo as well as the school choir.

To commemorate Mr Hoare's time at Haygrove School, a stunning cake in the shape of the main school building was made by local firm Nice Buns and was on display throughout the evening.

Mr Hoare said: “This has been a truly memorable way to celebrate everything that is great about Haygrove School. I am proud to have been a part of the school for so long.

“I'd like to thank all the students who performed so brilliantly tonight and I am hugely grateful to Mrs Cath Clark who has overseen the organisation of the festival, to my daughter, Finley, who supported Cath in contacting so many people and to all my colleagues, family and friends who have worked hard to make this evening so wonderful.”

Mrs Canham, head teacher at Haygrove School, said: “Mr Hoare will be hugely missed by everyone at Haygrove School. He is has been a valued member of our staff for many years now and I know there are lots of people in Bridgwater who have fond memories of the contribution Mr Hoare made to their own or their children's education.”