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Tears for much loved Margaret

Margaret Joyce Photo: Lee Hellwing (2616650)
Margaret Joyce Photo: Lee Hellwing (2616650)

A “much loved” dinner lady has retired after giving nearly 30 years of service to children from Easton on the Hill.

Margaret Joyce, 67, who joined Easton Garford Primary School as a 39 year-old, retired on June 12.

Her last day was spent at Ryhall Church of England Academy where she has been helping out since September last year after the closure of Easton Garford.

It was an emotional farewell for Margaret, teachers and the many children present.

“It was a very sad day,” she said.

“Everything was fine until the head teacher called me with everyone in the hall.

“All the children were coming over and giving me cuddles telling me they didn’t want me to go.”

Margaret joined Easton Garford after many years of being a stay at home mum.

“The job was advertised and it was convenient because it was in the village,” she said.

“I applied for it and got it.”

She said her initial title of “dinner lady” had eventually changed to “dinner supervisor”.

“Things were very different back then compared to the way they are now,” she said.

“Parents are much more involved in their children and their school work.

“I loved my time working at the school and the children were all so great.

“If I didn’t like my job, I wouldn’t have stayed on for that long,” she quipped.

Margaret has lived in Easton on the Hill for 48 years with husband Dennis.

They have three sons - Paul, Derek and Kevin.

She said she did not plan on sitting idle now that she had retired.

“I’m not sure what’s next but I have loads of jobs to do around the house.

“I’m not one for sitting around.”

Ryhall head teacher Katy Walker said Margaret had joined the school to help ease the transition for pupils moving from Easton Garford.

“Margaret was a wonderfully supportive person, very dedicated and freely gave of her time,” said Katy.

“She was an absolute pleasure to work with and we all enjoyed our time with her.”

Margaret’s son Derek paid tribute to his mother saying she was loved by everyone she came into contact with.

“As a mum to me and my two brothers she is fantastic,” he said.

“Nothing is too much for her and she is much loved by generations of kids who still keep in contact with her.”

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