A DENTON headmaster ended up going back in time when he took pupils on the deck of a massive cruise liner – by catching up with one of his former pupils.
And Steve Marsland, of Russell Scott Primary School, admitted it was his tales of travelling the world that inspired Chris Foy.
Now the lad he taught 30 years ago – who still calls Denton his home – is loyalty manager on the Queen Mary Two.
He also still has a connection with where he learned what he knows as his sister Jo is the head cook at the Clare Street building.
“Chris was 10 when I taught him and I’m a geographer by trade and my tales of travelling the world inspired him,” explained Steve.
“Now he’s loyalty manager on the biggest cruise liner in the world.
“So we went over when it docked in Liverpool and showed some of our pupils who have gone the extra mile around.”
Chris gave the group a tour of the Queen Mary Two, the largest ocean liner ever built standing at 345 metres long and 72 metres tall.
They were given a show in the onboard planetarium, the only floating one of its kind, the ballroom and the theatre. They were also shown the facilities, including the cabins where famous people stay.
Steve admitted there was one area that proved more attractive than anywhere else, saying: “We went up on deck to the area where games are played and they had a go at them, things like quoits.
“The kids seemed to take to them more than anything else. They were straight on to them and taking part!”
While the children were in awe of what they saw on the £460 million vessel, one thing stood out for Mr Marsland and it was something money cannot buy.
He said: “Chris was really proud that he could bring children from his home town with the same dreams he had to show them they can be achieved. I was really proud of him.
“Chris came to our careers week a few months ago and told children all about his travels to inspire them.
“I told him about the places I’d been to around the world while we were studying a topic, in those days you could study a whole topic more in depth.
“My passion passed on to him and he took it on. That can be a lesson for teachers in their careers – teach a passion.
“Chris’ story shows no matter where people come from and no matter how much money they’ve got, dreams can be achieved.”
Chris spends four months of the year away at sea but still has a property in the town in which he grew up.
And Steve believes the impact he had on him before he was even head at Russell Scott can be a lesson for other teachers.
He said: “Chris was in the year I had when I got there and weirdly two of the boys who went on the trip are the sons of his former classmates!
“It was a really inspirational visit and the Queen Mary is absolutely fantastic, really awe inspiring and I’d say it’s a proper cruise ship – not one of the container-type ships you can see.
“Everything was so opulent, what you would call old fashioned English opulence.”