Thursday, 16 September 2021

Eagle-eyed student returns ring to teacher

AN eagle-eyed student was the toast of Shiplake College after finding a teacher?s lost wedding ring on the school cricket field

AN eagle-eyed student was the toast of Shiplake College after finding a teacher?s lost wedding ring on the school cricket field.

Finn Wallace, 14, was one of 200 students who swept the field after housemaster Jonnie Howorth lost the gold band during cricket training on Monday last week.

Mr Howorth, who coaches the college?s first XI, put the ring in his pocket while fielding and realised at the end of the session that it had fallen out.

He asked the cricket team and half of the boarding house at the college to help him look for the ring that evening and returned at 6.30am the next day with a metal detector to search again.

When headmaster Gregg Davies saw Mr Howorth on the field, he cancelled junior assembly and asked the boys in years seven to 10 to sweep the field for the missing ring.

They lined up along the fence at the west end of the field and slowly walked the length of the pitch. It was on their way back that Finn spotted something shiny lodged in one of the slots for the cricket stumps.

Finn, who lives in Pinkneys Green and is a day student at the college, said: ?I had a history exam that day so I thought we were going to assembly but it turned out that because Mr Howorth had lost his ring we had to go out and search for it.

?I think some people must have walked past it but I looked down and just saw something shiny. I picked it up and was mobbed by about 50 people. Mr Howorth said ?thank you very much? and seemed quite surprised.? Finn?s reward was a bag of sweets from Mr Howorth and a £5 voucher for the college?s tuck shop, which he has already spent on drinks.

Mr Howorth, who has been married to his wife Julia for four years and lives on site, said he had been sure he would never see the ring again.

?I had pretty much given up hope,? he said. ?I borrowed a metal detector from the groundsman on Tuesday morning but when I tested it out on a chain fence it took a while to register so I didn?t hold out much hope! They mowed the grass at 9am on the Tuesday as well so the groundsman had to tell me it was probably lost.

?When Finn said he had found it I didn?t believe him. Throughout the search everyone was joking that they had seen it but when Finn was being swamped by people I realised he actually had.

?My wife was very understanding when I told her it was lost. I think she knew how gutted I was to have lost it. This is the first time I?ve ever lost my ring and hopefully the last given the trouble it caused. I?m hugely in Finn?s debt but don?t tell him that!?

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