IT was only meant to be a part-time job while her daughter was at the school, but Hazel Clayton’s role as a supervisor assistant at one Leeds primary went on to last for 42 years.
During that time she has watched generations of the same family pass through the gates of Lower Wortley Primary School, taking delight in hearing how they have grown.
“I’ve seen a lot of them bring their children and then grandchildren,” Hazel said. “There’s a lot of them who talk to you in the street. It’s nice to hear what they’re doing with their lives and how they have got on.
“The headmistress who is there now, I used to be her dinner lady too. I said to her, little did we know all those years ago that she would go on to this.”
The joy of working with the children and sharing laughs with her “great” colleagues meant it never felt like a chore.
Hazel said: “I can’t believe how that time has gone. I used to work at Readmans and Macro, but I still kept my little dinnertime job.”
Now 75, Hazel has decided it is time to enjoy lunchtimes with her husband and friends.
But there was one last surprise as she was showered with gifts and invited to a special assembly on her final day.
“I went in to say goodbye and all the children sang to me,” she said. “It was a lovely afternoon.”