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Fond farewell to Carol after 38 years' service

There were a few farewell tears at Havering Sixth Form College when kitchen assistant Carol Strange retired after an incredible 38 years of service on the same site.

Carol began working as a ‘dinner lady’ back in 1978 when the buildings in Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, were Dury Falls School. She only took up the job all those years ago to save for a car and thought she would leave once she had earned enough money.   But she liked working in the dinner hall so much, she stayed – even carrying on as Supervisor when the school became Havering Sixth Form College in 1991.

Now, 38 years later, Carol has decided to hang up her uniform and give herself a lie-in after years of starting at 6am to prep, chop, cook and serve, ready for the lunchtime rush in the Refectory.

Principal Paul Wakeling presented Carol with presents from the College and she also received flowers, vouchers and chocolates from her friends and colleagues. Paul said: “You have given us fantastic service. Thank you for looking after us for all these years.”

Carol replied: “I have loved my time here – every single day. I’ve never woken up and not wanted to come to work and that’s all because of all of you lot and the students, who I can’t say a bad word about.”

She added: “In all my 38 years I’ve not had one student be rude to me. They are a really lovely bunch of kids we get here. I’ve also been really lucky to work with such lovely people.”

Her friends and colleagues called Carol a ray of sunshine. One said: “She will be missed so much. She’s just a genuinely lovely lady. The kitchen will be a duller place without her.”