Blood, sweat, tears and school dinners!

Hucknall Leen Mills primary school chef retires. Lynn Barton with Caroline Richmond asst cook, Cathy Pascoe senior midday suppervisor, judith Turner and pupils from foundation and year 4.
Hucknall Leen Mills primary school chef retires. Lynn Barton with Caroline Richmond asst cook, Cathy Pascoe senior midday suppervisor, judith Turner and pupils from foundation and year 4.

Leen Mills Primary School bade a fond farewell to its cook who retired this week after 19 years and countless meals.

“It’s been my life for many years,” said Lynn Barton. “It’s a long time - but it doesn’t seem that way.

“I have fed children who are now teachers here, and I’m feeding the children of children I used to feed!

“I have just cooked my last Christmas dinner for 350 children! Lots of blood, sweat and tears have gone into those dinners over the years. Christmas dinners are a doddle now!”

Lynn’s association with the school dates back to when her son David, now 31, joined.

“I used to come in and help the teachers in the classroom when my daughter Nicola was here, she’s now 24.”

She work in the kitchen and the playground before she became the school’s cook in 2005.

Her husband, who sadly passed away four years ago, had a “massive library of music” which he would tape for school productions “in the days before Youtube.”

Lynn, 63, of Papplewick Lane, said: “It is sad because I will miss the faces of the people in the kitchen. But I have wanted to retire for a while and do other things.”

Lynn plans to buy a house and then go travelling, before getting stuck into her hobbies which include stamp collecting, knitting and gardening.

Headteacher Russell Tew paid tribute to Lynn’s speciality meal: “Her Christmas dinner is something that everyone looks forward to - all year round. The kitchen staff really pull out all the stops.”

Lynn also caters for a breakfast club, which runs from 7.30am to 8.45am.

A surprise cook-book themed assembly was held on Tuesday - Lynn’s last day - when some of the children talked about their favourite dinners.

“She is very hard-working and committed and she takes pride in her work,” said Mr Tew. “She is friendly and gets on well with everyone.”