Tributes have poured in for a very popular teacher whose sudden death has stunned his family, his former school and the local community.
Peter Knowles, who was 62, had only recently retired fully from Longridge High School having returned to work in the Design and Technology Department after initial retirement.
Headteacher Jane Hill said “We were all stunned to learn of his untimely death. Pete Knowles was an exceptional teacher and human being who had an incredibly positive impact on the lives of hundreds and hundreds of pupils at Longridge High School over many years.
“He was a fantastic colleague and a great friend to many. He will be sorely missed and our hearts go out to his family and friends at this very sad time.”
Born in Grimsargh, Mr Knowles went to Alston Lane Catholic Primary School and Preston Catholic College before attending the University of Coventry to read politics. He worked for a short time in London before returning to Lancashire.
Mr Knowles was a member of staff at the high school for over 37 years, teaching English, being head of Year 11 and Careers and then teaching land-based studies before going into the DT department.
School governor and local councillor Jim White remembers working with Peter Knowles on his pre-school daily milk round. Jim would then go to school and he recalls “(Peter) was much admired and respected by all the pupils in his years at Longridge Secondary as it was then, and this continued during his daughter’s time at the high school.”
Colleagues said Mr Knowles had a natural ability to inspire in the classroom.
Beyond work, he had a sense of community and had been the local darts secretary, a volunteer with the Bowland Ranger Service, a Samaritan and an active committee member of the Goosnargh and Longridge Show Society.
He was secretary for the horticulture section of the show. Committee member Jean Hill said: “He was a hard working and well respected member of the committee and everyone connected with the show will miss him.”
Peter Knowles is survived by his partner Sue, and his children Tom, Andrew and Kerry. His funeral is on Friday at 10.30am at SS Peter and Paul Church in Ribchester.