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Ellie has been a ‘dinner lady’ for 50 years - what’s her favourite meal?

PUBLISHED: 15:24 20 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:47 20 November 2018

School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

It is 50 years since Ellie Grimsey began serving meals in a school kitchen.

School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

In that time she has served thousands of children, from the days of spotted dick and custard to today’s lamb and couscous.

But she has not had her fill yet.

Ms Grimsey started as a midday supervisor at the village primary school in Stoke Ferry in 1968, at a time when meals were still brought into the school each day.

Following the school’s move to new premises in 1987 Ms Grimsey became a catering assistant, and then school cook – a role she carried out for 14 years.

School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Since then she has served as assistant cook at the school, now All Saints’ Academy, serving the children and grandchildren of past pupils.

Ms Grimsey said she still loved being in the kitchen – but that much had changed in her five decades making and serving school dinners.

“I absolutely love it. I don’t know what I would do if I had to be at home,” she said. “Fifty years ago we used to make cowboy stew, mash potatoes and spotted dick for pudding.

“It was all oldy-worldy things. Back then we had to do everything from scratch. Now we get pre-cut and peeled potatoes but back then we had to do that all ourselves.

School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

“It’s coming back to that now. We used to have pudding mixes and batter mixes but we have to make everything, especially the puddings from scratch.

“My favourite school dinner to serve and eat myself is a roast, with roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings.”

She added: “I have loved every minute of working here and I hope to do it for a few more years yet.”

To celebrate her 50 years, the school – where Ms Grimsey’s daughter Jane is now the school cook – held a celebratory lunch, where Ms Grimsey joined pupils for a meal of roast pork and fruit cheesecake.

School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018School Dinnerlady Ellie Grimsey has been working at All SaintsbAcademy for 50 years. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Amanda Massen, account manager at Norse Catering, which employs Ms Grimsey, said: “We are enormously grateful to Ellie for the huge commitment and dedication she has shown to keeping children healthy by serving nutritious and balanced meals for half a century. She is a hugely popular figure in the school.”

Katherine Howe, executive headteacher, said: “The school is really proud and privileged to continue working with Ellie and her daughter and thank them for daily providing us with lovely lunches.”

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