School's dinner lady retires after almost 50 years

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE, pictured with the school councillors

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE, who is retiring after nearly 50 years at the school. She is pictured with the student councillors and headteacher Mr Nick Read. - 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. 

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE who is retiring after almost 50 years

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE who is retiring after almost 50 years at the school. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

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?


You may also want to watch:


"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."

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE, who is retiring after almost 50 year

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE, who is retiring after almost 50 years at the school, pictured after her leaving ceremony. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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. 

Most Read

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?"

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE, who is retiring after almost 50 year

Worstead C of E Primary School's dinner lady Cynthia Clare MBE, who is retiring after almost 50 years at the school, pictured during her leaving ceremony. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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.

Worstead C of E Primary School. Picture: Danielle Booden

Worstead C of E Primary School. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. Picture

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. Picture

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. Picture

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Pictures from dinner lady Cynthia Clare's almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. Picture

A file picture of Cynthia Clare. She is retiring after almost 50 years at Worstead C of E Primary School. - Credit: Danielle Booden


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus