An Abbey Wood headteacher received a surprise visit from one of his favourite authors during an assembly last week.

Laurence Cawthorne has overseen Alexander McLeod Primary School in Fuchsia Street for 27 years but retired on Friday.

Knowing he enjoyed reading stories by Gervase Phinn, his pupils wrote a letter asking if the author could visit their "spectacular" headteacher, who has never had a day off sick.

News Shopper: Retiring Abbey Wood headteacher felt like 'a little boy on Christmas Day' during surprise author visit

School learning mentor Jan Blackman said: "For many years, Mr Cawthorne has read a humorous page or two from one of Gervase’s books during our annual Year 6, which has entertained the children, parents and staff alike.

"Three of our Year 6 children wrote a lovely email to Mr Phinn asking if he could send a letter or even visit the school and were immensely thrilled when he said he could come - all the way from Doncaster - and surprise Mr Cawthorne during an assembly."

Mr Cawthorne told News Shopper: "I felt like a little boy being given his best present on Christmas Day. 

"I have admired Gervase Phinn for many years and have read all of his books. 

"To think that he had travelled so far to attend my assembly made me feel very honoured and humbled."