We have opened an online book of condolence for former long-standing headteacher Frank Gulley who "lived and breathed Temple Sutton".

Mr Gulley, 77, was the headteacher at Temple Sutton Primary School, in Eastern Avenue, between 1983 to 2011.

During his time at the Southend school, he was named as primary school headteacher of the year at the 2006 East of England Teaching Awards.

Sadly, Mr Gulley passed away earlier this month, the school has announced. He leaves behind his wife, son, and granddaughter.

In a newsletter, Temple Sutton Primary School paid tribute to the long-standing headteacher who "became a voice for the community", hailing the bus route and Health Centre as a couple of the legacies he leaves behind.

A spokesman wrote: “It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Frank Gulley. Frank was a long standing headteacher here at Temple Sutton between 1983 and 2011.

“I know many of our parents and grandparents who attended, or had links with the school during Frank’s time, have fond memories of Frank and often mention him when visiting.

“Anybody who knew him knew he lived and breathed Temple Sutton.

“Growing up in a similar area in Liverpool, Frank understood the challenges some of our children and families faced. He became a voice for the community and worked tirelessly to ensure access to services that would help improve the lives for the children and families of Temple Sutton."

Community answers

Share your memories and pay tribute to Temple Sutton former headteacher Frank Gulley

"Sadly, Frank Gulley - who was the headteacher at Temple Sutton Primary School from 1983 to 2011 - passed away earlier this month. He leaves behind his wife, son, and granddaughter. Tributes have poured in across south Essex to the 77-year-old who inspired so many of his former pupils."

We asked for your responses - this is what you sent.

From Sam Carey

Share your memories of Mr Gulley and pay tributeVery sad news, but what a legacy. Fantastic educator who I and many others owe a lot to. So invested in his pupils success, and although I am not due to named grandmaster anytime soon, he is the reason I can play chess, and also why I know so many Beatles songs verbatim! Honoured to have known him. Thoughts and condolences to his family.

From Charlie Glew

Share your memories of Mr Gulley and pay tributeI knew Mr Gulley best from my time at school on the Chess team and I think most will remember his passion for encouraging students to get involved and work their way up the leader board at lunch time. A rare talent to be able to get children to sit inside when they could be outside playing. Mr Gulley was always so encouraging of his students, even when I returned to the school 4 years later for work experience, Mr Gulley would tell me to push out of my comfort zone. A man who encompassed the headteacher role so naturally, and took it into the community as well. As Mr Gulley, Frank, signs off from such an inspiring life, I will always hear him saying, Checkmate, good game.

From Bethany Stott

Share your memories of Mr Gulley and pay tributeMr Gulley was a wonderful man with an amazing sense of humour. After his retirement he returned to Temple Sutton to teach us how to play chess. He was an amazing headteacher and I am so upset to hear of his passing.

From Jenni Palmer

Share your memories of Mr Gulley and pay tributeMr Gulley was a really nice man. Found memories of speaking to him when i was at school. Even when i moved to Devon in 1998 i would still pop in to school and say hello to him.