End of an era for much-loved Norwich dinner lady who retires after 43 years

Betty Culyer, who has retired from her lunch supervisor job at Nelson Infant School after 43 years,

Betty Culyer, who has retired from her lunch supervisor job at Nelson Infant School after 43 years, with pupils(l to r) Tabitha Raby, Amelia Mutota, Ava Sandler and Taylor Rumball.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

She has been a familiar face to thousands of primary school children during the their breaks over the past 43 years.

Betty Culyer, who has retired from her lunch supervisor job at Nelson Infant School after 43 years.

Betty Culyer, who has retired from her lunch supervisor job at Nelson Infant School after 43 years. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

But after reaching the age of 78, dinner lady Betty Culyer has decided to hang up her lunch bell for the last time.

The grandmother was joined by friends, family, staff and pupils at Nelson Infant School, in Northumberland Street, Norwich, yesterday to mark her retirement.

She was presented with a cake and cards to celebrate her time at the school, which she first started working at in 1972.

And such was the significance of her appointment that it even featured in the school's logbook from April 17 of that year.

Mrs Culyer, of Turner Road, said: 'My children both came to here and I remember bringing my daughter Helen down and I just liked the look of it.

'But now I am getting older and my daughter keeps saying that I have to think about retiring.

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'I will miss the children and all the laughter we have had. It has always been like a big happy family here.'

When Mrs Culyer first started at the school, she said it was based in a much older building further down the road.

She remembered children being allowed to sleep after their dinner breaks in little brick huts around the site.

Headteacher Nigel Wood said Mrs Culyer was the school's longest-serving lunchtime supervisor.

He added: 'She has made such a commitment to the school and to the wellbeing of all the children here.

'The children and staff love her and she now continues to help out as a volunteer with the school.'

While Mrs Culyer officially retired in December, she has agreed to continue helping out on a voluntary basis.

An entry in the school's log book for April 17, 1972, written by the then headmaster, reads: 'The first part of the morning was taken up for interviews of the midday supervisor. Mrs Culyer has been appointed.'

Are you retiring after a long period of service? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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