School's dinner lady retires after almost 50 years
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Almost a half a century has passed since Cynthia Clare started dishing up food to hungry school children.
And now, countless thousands of school dinners later, Mrs Clare, 83, is finally stepping down from her role as dinner lady at Worstead Church of England Primary School.
Mrs Clare said the school had been a huge part of her life since she started there in January 1972, and she would miss it with all her heart.
She said: "The children are all lovely, God bless them.
"One of them came up to me last week and said 'Mrs Clare, do you have to leave?' They don't want me to but nobody goes on forever do they?
"But I did tell them I'm come back and see them. The headteacher said I could come back and listen to the read that would help the school."
Mrs Clare's job has been to take delivery of the dinners - which are cooked in North Walsham - test the temperature of the food and dish it up.
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Mrs Clare, who is married to Arthur, has been heavily invited in village life over the decades and is renowned for her baking skills.
She did the catering for the Worstead Festival for about 40 years and regularly contributes cakes and her time to charitable causes.
Mrs Clare said: "If someone's holding a sale for something they knock on the door and say, can you make us some cakes, can you do a cake stall?"
She was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her community contributions in 2003.
Nick Read, headteacher, said Mrs Clare had left an indelible mark on the school community.
He said: "She's a massive part of our school life and village life. She used to feed a lot of the parents of children who are here now, and in some cases maybe even their grandparents.
"When I first met her I instantly took to her. She loves the children, the children love her, she's an institution."
Mrs Clare was given a send-off at a Year 6 leavers' assembly on Tuesday, the day before her final day.