A BRADFORD school has opened a memorial garden in tribute to a beloved headteacher who sadly died last year in a tragic crash.

Just days prior to the first anniversary of Jeremy Richardson’s tragic death, staff and pupils at Beckfoot Thornton, Leaventhorpe Lane, Thornton, paid tribute to their much-loved former headteacher by opening a memorial garden in his honour.

Emergency services were called to Byron Street, off Barkerend Road, at around 6.40am on June 22, 2022, where there had been a crash involving a vehicle and Mr Richardson, who was on a bicycle.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries but sadly died.

The school community was left in shock following his death.

In tribute to Mr Richardson, the memorial garden, which was transformed from a disused quad, features many atmospheric plants, seating and bunting for mourners while they pay memoriam.

Staff and students at the school have been heavily involved in the design and development of the garden and will be responsible for its upkeep.

The opening of the memorial comes at a tender time in the school’s term, reminding staff and pupils of the great loss they experienced the previous year following Mr Richardson’s sudden passing.

Their former headteacher was a strong and respected leader at the school, and a much-loved father and husband.

His impact on Beckfoot Thornton was one of great positive transformation and his whole-hearted love and dedication to the job shone through each day.

While the memorial garden has been built in Mr Richardson’s honour, it will be dedicated as a space to honour all of those who the school has lost over the years, with staff and students encouraged to use the garden as a quiet space.

It will also feature plaques, to honour those who have lost their lives.

These will be moved from all over the school to the garden and includes plaques in memory of those that died in the Bradford City stadium fire in May 1985.

Senior leaders at Beckfoot Thornton remain at the disposal of any staff or pupils who are particularly affected by the anniversary of the loss and are prepared to provide any support needed.

Sally Trusselle, headteacher of Beckfoot Thornton School, said: “It has been wonderful to commemorate Jeremy and the hugely significant impact he had on the school and on countless pupils.

“His passing had an immense impact on our school community, so we are glad to have a space where his memory will continue to live on, and where our community can take time out of their day to celebrate him and others they have lost.

“Thank you to all those who have been part of making this project become a reality – we are very lucky to have such a strong community at Beckfoot Thornton.”

Shirley Watson, Chief Executive of Beckfoot Trust, said: “Jeremy was a truly remarkable leader and a dearly loved colleague, friend, husband and father. Beckfoot Thornton and our Trust owe so much to Jeremy, and we mark this anniversary with deep gratitude for his influence on our lives.

“We hope that the memorial garden will offer a place of solace for those affected by the loss of Jeremy, as well as other loved ones.

“Jeremy was a leader of great dignity, and the garden is a physical space where we are reminded of his legacy, he kept it simple and did it brilliantly."