Michael Franklin: TBSHS 1999-2022
Michael Franklin: TBSHS 1999-2022
23 May 2022
It is with very great sadness that we share that Michael Franklin, a caretaker at the school, has passed away after a short illness.
Mr. Franklin joined The Bishop’s Stortford High School in June 1999 and so served the school for a remarkable nearly twenty three years. He often said that caretakers take care of the school. They do and Mr. Franklin did. Mr. Franklin, together with the rest of the site and technical teams, worked in school throughout every holiday, even in the substantial summer vacation. Whilst we were enjoying our summer holiday, Mr. Franklin was in school, with the rest of the site and technical teams, improving the ground for the new season at TBSHS.
For, whilst staff give students opportunities on the stage of the school curriculum and the extracurricular, always wonderfully supported by parents, it is the senior, administration, caretaking, catering, cleaning, finance, network, office and technical teams that do vital behind-the-scenes work which is key and vital to any production.
Many staff and current and former students will remember Mr. Franklin as a perceptive, thoughtful, knowledgeable, good-humoured, widely read, well-travelled, honest and unique person and character. He talked with people, spoke different languages and particularly enjoyed tending to gardens around the school. Outside of school hours, Mr. Franklin was a very keen birdwatcher. With his wife, he would travel to pursue such ornithology . Mr. Franklin had a great love of nature. Mr. Franklin was also a devoted follower of Arsenal Football Club, and the way they played, but generously appreciated all teams that played “the beautiful game”.
Mr. Franklin modelled TBSHS’ values of commitment, aspiration, respect, integrity and community. Mr. Franklin will be greatly and very much missed.
We are very grateful for and to all those people who inspire and guide us in our lives, and those who will always be remembered and will always inspire and guide us.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Franklin’s partner and with Mr. Franklin.
If you wish to send a message please email: email@example.com
The funeral of Michael Franklin took place on the 22nd June 2022. The School was well represented at the funeral by teaching and support staff.
Tribute messages to Mike Franklin
Mike Franklin gave almost twenty three years of service to the school before he very sadly passed away this week. During his time at the school he formed some wonderful friendships and will be sorely missed by many colleagues. He took great pride in nurturing several flower gardens around the site, bringing a bit of colour into all of our lives, for which he will be fondly remembered.
Dale Reeve, Headmaster
Mike was a valued member of the Site Team and also a true and loyal friend. I only knew Mike for a few short years but he made a massive impression on me and my family.
He loved working in the school and in particular looking after the schools gardens. School was a massive part of Mikes life and although he could be grumpy and sometimes difficult, he never said no to anyone. He loved the Science and PE Departments and found many friends amongst the staff. He loved football and in particular Arsenal. Even when Arsenal struggled, he would still ‘big them’ like all long suffering fans of football.
Mike became a close friend of mine and my family. He took an interest in our garden helping us to organise It and giving us plants which he made sure we looked after.
We shared a beer or two and many a laugh. He had a wicked sense of humour and would love to wind up Jackie, but he had Jackie were similar in wit and would just bounce off each other. If you were able to understand Mike’s sense of humour, you would know he was a great and funny man with a heart of gold and a willingness to help and look out for others. He had the true Black and Gold spirit running through his veins.
He worshipped his wife Ellen and would in the same way joke about silly gifts he had got for her. For instance he told once he had treated her for Christmas to a foot massager.
Not a shop one, but a homemade one. He had put some marbles in a bowl with warm water and soap. He said his wife was over the moon and loved the gift. His wife is German
And Mike loved Germany and would I’m sure have moved and lived there if he could but his wife was very happy here.
Another of Mike’s big interests was bird watching. He would travel all over country to see rare birds to add to his collection. His joy at getting sometimes many miles away and seeing a rare bird was infectious when he returned to the office and shared and pictures.
I will miss Mike but I am happy knowing he is now at peace and no longer suffering. I send my family’s condolences to his wife Ellen and Mike’s family. God Bless RIP
Roy Spilsbury, TBSHS Site Manager
Right from when I joined the school in 2007, Mike was always a smiling, cheerful and cheeky presence around the building, be that pushing his bike through school, chatting around the staffroom and corridors or practising his French and German with the members of the MFL Department. He always had a witty riposte and a wicked smile while he got on with his varied tasks. I particularly appreciated his efforts in the various little pockets of garden around the school which added welcome colour to our ageing buildings. He was a real character who will be sadly missed. My condolences to his family.
Mike had a good line in irony which meant you were constantly having to work on your wits when chatting with him: replacing a light shade became as much an intellectual exercise as a physical one! I especially enjoyed the cut and thrust of our conversations about the shortcomings of late Arsene Wenger Gunners.
Mike welcomed me to the school this year. He was always happy to help me, even after inundating him with request to fix/repair/throw out old items from my art room. No job was too big and if it physically was, he would ensure extra hands were on board to help.
In the short time that I got to know Mike, I really enjoyed working with him.
My thoughts are with his family and friends.
Although I am new to the school, Mike made a big impression on me. He always took the time to stop and chat, and I particularly remember one day in December when he spoke to me for ages about how Christmas is celebrated in Germany and other countries. It was clear that he was interested in people, and he was so welcoming to the school. He will be sorely missed.
Upon joining the school as a teacher in September of 2018, I met many members of the PE department at the Year 6 Summer sports camp in the last week of August. Mike was at the Pavilion doing some painting and needed to find a member of staff for whatever reason. Despite my best efforts to convince him I wasn’t a 6th former he decided to wait for Mr Harris to return, threatening to tell him of the disrespect a student had shown him. In the years following he would question why I was out of lessons every time our paths would cross in the corridor.
Mike was a very well liked, friendly and funny person who would always look to add some laughter to the working day. He would often swing by the PE office for a chat about the state of Arsenal, to inspect any cake we might have had in, or offer motivational words of encouragement to us all.
He will be missed by many.
Mike always had a smile for me and very often a little dig at my French nationality!! Often asking me why I was still here after Brexit had happened. He never failed to make me laugh and smile. I knew that whenever I met him in the corridor he would have a sarcastic but always very funny comment.
I will miss him dearly.
Mike greeted everyone with a smile and was always willing to offer help along with his jokes and banter which kept me laughing. I was a constant source of exasperation for him as he would have to patiently unpick my temporary sellotape fixes in classrooms before he could get the job done properly. When he found out I spoke German he tested my abilities and we both laughed at my ineptitude when guessing at vocabulary when asking for things to be fixed.
I will miss him greatly.
Having spent many hours with Mick working on the extra events, shows, concerts and more at the school I wish his family and friends my condolences in this sad time. Always cheerful and a pleasure to be with.
Michael Swan, Former Pupil