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Primary school pupils and staff bid farewell to stalwart Pamela

PUBLISHED: 08:51 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:51 23 July 2018

Dinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Dinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Pupils and staff at a village primary school have said their sad farewells to a staff member who spent 44 years with the school.

Dinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian BurtDinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Pamela Allen started as an assistant cook at Mundford Primary in 1974 and than became a caretaker.

In 1995 she retired but came back as a dinner lady a year later and has also helped in the classroom.

Dinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian BurtDinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Although the 76-year-old is leaving she said she would still be keen to come back and help out from time-to-time.

“It has been a pleasure looking after the children and I will miss them as this has been my life for the past 44 years,” she said.

Dinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian BurtDinner lady Pamela Allen is retiring from Mundford Primary School after 44 years. Picture: Ian Burt

“I love the children but it is not only that, it is the staff and the camaraderie. We all get on so well together and it has always been like that. We are like a big family.”

Mrs Allen’s two sons and nieces and nephews have all attended the school.

A fish finger and chip street party was held as a goodbye to Mrs Allen, who wore a crown and sat on a thrown among the pupils.

“She is really kind and is like a grandma to us,” said 11-year-old Kezia Hayden. “She has always been there when we have been at school. It will be sad to see her go.”

Mrs Allen added: “I’ve watched the children grow up and into adults and some of these children; I saw their parents and grandparents.”

Teacher Lisa Rolph called Mrs Allen a stalwart.

“She is a really tough woman but with a massive heart of gold,” she said. “The pupils love her. She is very kind and generous. Everybody knows her even outside the school.

“We have said to her if she wants she can come and so some arts and crafts with the pupils.”

The school’s executive Headteacher Christina Galletly has also retired following more than 25 years at the school.

Starting as a part time teacher, Mrs Galletly became headteacher before becoming executive head when the it became a federation school.

She had been due to have an afternoon tea as a goodbye event but was unable to attend.

Leona Brown, a teacher at Mundford, said: “She has been a good friend to many people over the years. She has been very supportive not just as a colleague but as a friend.

“The school will not be the same without her.”

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