A TEACHER who taught thousands of pupils during a 26-year career has died aged 93 following a brief illness.

Reg Hartley was born in 1927 in Gosforth before moving to Bootle.

He went to school in Millom and become an apprentice at Vickers in Barrow.

During National Service he served as a Radio Operator in the Army’s Royal Signals before returning to Vickers as a Mechanical Engineer and becoming a Draughtsman.

In 1951 he met the love of his life and future wife Mary.

They married at Helsington Church on Easter Saturday 1956 and moved to their home in Barrow.

In 1960 Mr Hartley became a Science Teacher at Walney Modern in Ocean Road.

The family enjoyed the outdoor life, camping holidays, agricultural shows and motorbike scrambles.

He had an allotment in which he grew vegetables.

Later in life he enjoyed woodwork, gardening and baking and even made his granddaughters wedding cakes.

In 1986 he took early retirement from teaching but sadly in 1988 Mary was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

Mr Hartley nursed her at home until she passed away in 1993.

He also volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospice and in 2005 he volunteered with the Furness Riding for the Disabled where he was first to arrive to put out the equipment and was the official hitching post at brew time - but his key role was as 'pooper scooper', said his family.

When he did eventually retire aged 90, he was flattered when it was said that ‘every RDA needs a Reg.’

His family said: “Reg was a loving and devoted husband to Mary, an amazing Dad to Paul, Sara and Bridget, and father-in law to Lesley, John and Adam, a brilliant, fun grandad to Joanne, David, Michael and Stephanie and proud great-grandad to Jake, Luke, Macey and Reuben, a much-loved Uncle and a friend to many.

“He has left a huge legacy of fantastic memories and will always be remembered with great love and respect by everyone who knew him.”

A fundraiser has now been set up by Reg’s family for Furness RDA (Riding for the Disabled) as a reflection of the fun he had with everyone at the group and his enjoyment from helping out.

To donate, visit: uk.gofundme.com/f/donations-to-furness-rda-in-memory-of-reg-hartley