Cook hangs up her apron

Jane Barker

Jane Barker

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A SCHOOL cook is hanging up her ladle after serving up school dinners to Hartlepool school children for a quarter of a century.

Jane Barker retired from St Joseph’s Primary School on Friday after 25 years as a school cook.

And she has been a fixture in Hartlepool schools for 33 years.

Jane, 60, was showered with gifts from grateful staff and pupils on her final day.

She said she was sad to say goodbye to everyone at the school in Musgrave Walk, Hartlepool.

But she is looking forward to taking up new hobbies and spending more time with her family.

Jane said: “I will miss the children and staff, they are wonderful here.

“But I feel there are other things I would like to do in life.

“I have joined a walking club at Summerhill and will be going to Zumba classes.”

The whole school said farewell to Jane during assembly on her last day when she was presented with gifts, including flowers and a plaque with her name on it.

Jane, of Kesteven Road, the Fens, started as a dinner lady. She trained as a cook after eight years and has worked at Hartlepool’s Rossmere and Kingsley primary schools.

Jane, married to Roy, 65, has been a popular member of staff at St Joseph’s for the last eight years.

The mum of two added: “I was invited in to assembly which was really lovely. I was presented with all sorts of gifts from the school.

“My husband is retired so I will be able to spend more time with him.”

Retirement will also give Jane more time to see her two grandchildren Niamh, 12, and eight-year-old Finley.

She also plans to spend more time helping out at St Patrick’s Church in Owton Manor where she volunteers with the flowers.