Northampton

Corby English teacher sought by author 40 years on

Screen grab of Chris Young's tweet Image copyright Twitter/Chris Young
Image caption Chris Young was 13 when Lynn Ward taught him English

An author is trying to trace the English teacher who supported him after his mother died and his alcoholic father could not cope.

Chris Young appealed on Twitter for help in finding Lynn Ward, who taught at Lodge Park School in Corby in 1978.

He tweeted: "I'd dropped into the bottom quarter for English at school. My #EnglishTeacher Miss Ward pulled me out of that ditch."

The message has been shared and retweeted 30,000 times.

Image copyright Chris Young
Image caption Chris Young was about nine when this photo was taken
Image copyright Google
Image caption Lodge Park's principal Leo Gilbert said he hopes Mr Young "can share with Ms Ward just what she has meant to him over the years"

Mr Young was 12 when his mother died and 13 when Miss Ward "treated me like a rock star, loved what I wrote and got me to talk in front of the class".

"I went from being in the bottom quarter for English to fourth in the year, so it was a huge transition," he said.

The former Edinburgh-based social worker is now a mental health campaigner living in Ilmington in Warwickshire.

He recently published his first book and would like Miss Ward to attend its launch in Edinburgh on 1 February.

Image copyright Chris Young
Image caption Mr Young gave up his job as a social worker after being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder

Since starting his search he has been put in touch with one of his other English teachers, "Baldy" Brian Mutch, who taught him the following year.

Mr Mutch is contacting a former colleague who may still be in touch with Miss Ward.

The school, now called Lodge Park Academy, has retweeted his appeal and also has "a number of feelers out".

Principal Leo Gilbert said: "It is wonderful when teachers get the recognition they deserve for having a lasting impact on young people's lives."

Mr Young said one of the best things about his appeal was the number of people who had "shared memories of their Miss Ward".

He said: "One woman has even got in touch with her 'Miss Ward'."

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