Change of office means it's back to school for Jonathan
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
MOST people leave school to go to work, but for one Teesdale surveyor, it’s the other way around.
Jonathan Wallis set up his own chartered surveying company in Barnard Castle two years ago after working as a partner with one of the region’s largest estate agencies.
However he quickly outgrew his initial premises, but has now found the perfect space, but it’s meant going back to school, literally.
Mr Wallis attended Startforth Morritt Primary School as a youngster and has now relocated his business there.
Since the school closed in 2016, it has been turned into thriving community centre hosting a number of interesting and varied events.
Now it has also provided a spacious new home for Mr Wallis’ chartered surveying company.
Coincidently Kirklands Nursery, which Mr Wallis attended as a pupil more than 30 years ago, is also based at the former school building.
The move to his new premises allows Mr Wallis to practice in a quiet, rural setting that his clients enjoy visiting.
He said: “It’s very quirky going to work in my old school building. It holds lots of good memories for me and I find that very conducive to efficient working.
“I provide advice on rural and specialist commercial property to my clients so in effect, I’m practising what I preach.”
His new office is situated on the site of the old school library which later became the music room and Jonathan has vivid memories of watching schools TV in the room.
He added: “We used to sit on the floor crossed legged and watch the TV which was a massive wooden cabinet on wheels and I remember seeing programmes about people’s careers and thinking ‘what will I do when I leave school’?
“It’s funny that I’m back in that very same room running a successful business helping people make the right decisions with regards to property and land ownership.”
Helen Pressley, whose mother was a teacher at the school, has recently joined the Mr Wallis’ company as a PA and property manager. Like Mr Wallis she is from a farming background in Barnard Castle.