A POPULAR teacher received a send-off to remember as she retired after a quarter of a century of service at a Johnstone school.

Audrey Patterson, 59, was greeted by well-wishers of all ages waving flags as she left Cochrane Castle Primary on her final day as deputy head.

To mark the occasion, colleagues rolled out a red carpet as she exited the school’s main entrance by passing through a colourful arch of balloons.

Wearing a dazzling red gown, silver crown and pink sash inscribed with the words ‘Queen of the Castle,’ Audrey danced to Tina Turner’s hit ‘Proud Mary,’ joined by a group of twinkle-toed youngsters.

She was then whisked away in a car decorated with balloons and driven by her husband, acting as dapper chauffeur.

A convoy of three cars drove around the neighbourhood as parents and kids applauded and waved at the much-loved teacher, accompanied by the sound of bagpipes.

The Gazette: It was an emotional occasion for Audrey as she retiredIt was an emotional occasion for Audrey as she retired

Audrey said she was “blown away” by the outpouring of affection from staff, parents and pupils on her last day.

“I was completely overwhelmed,” she told The Gazette. “The girls who organised it did a grand job, as I knew nothing about it beforehand. One of the girls just told me I was to dress up as a queen and got the outfit straight out of the drama cupboard for me.

“I couldn’t believe the amount of effort that everybody had put in to make it such a special day, especially during these difficult times.

“After the convoy, I returned to the school to say goodbye to the kids and the parents, many of whom I taught during my time at the school as well.

“When I headed up the road, the car was packed full of gifts and I couldn’t believe the generosity of everyone.”

Audrey is now looking forward to spending more time with her family, as well as enjoying some travel and taking up baking again.

She added: “I’ve got a new grandson now, so I felt this was the right time to go.

“I loved working with the children at the school and it was an absolute privilege to teach each and every one of them.

“I will cherish the memory of my last day at the school forever.”

To watch video clips of Audrey’s memorable send-off, visit www.facebook.com/CochraneCastlePS.