Kitty Keeley, confidently believed to be the UK’s longest serving school dinner lady, retired last week after 43 years dishing out fantastic food at the same primary school.
During her time at Dallington Church of England Primary School, Kitty, 75, has served over 40,000 meals to hundreds of children from around the area, including her own children and now her grandchildren.
Kitty will be missed by pupils and staff at the school who have all benefitted from her fantastic food, especially what one three year old calls her ‘delicious biscuits’.
Head teacher Shirley Frankis said: “Making sure the children have hot, nourishing meals is so important to their development and concentration at school. The effort Kitty and her team put in on a daily basis to make lunchtimes run smoothly and ensure every child gets their choice of meal on time is tremendous.
“Kitty cared for all of us, children and staff, alike. For over 40 years Kitty has been at the heart of our school and will be sorely missed. People went to her for advice about all sorts of things - cooking, gardening, dog training - to name just a few! We all love Kitty and wish her the very best for her retirement.”
Kitty, who lives nearby, served up her last school meals on Tuesday, March 26. On Thursday, March 28 the children all held a special lunch for Kitty as well as a farewell assembly.
Kitty is married to Nipper and has three children. She’s planning a very active retirement and hopes to spend more time in her garden and her own kitchen.
Dallington is a small Church of England Primary School situated in the High Weald.
Shirley Frankis said: “All staff, children and the very friendly community work together within a Christian ethos to promote a positive and considerate atmosphere where pupils are happy and can develop spiritually, academically and socially.
“Last year’s SATs results were well above the national average and put Dallington in the top 12 per cent of schools in the country.
“We are very proud of what we have achieved and would like to thank Kitty for the amazing contribution she has made to the happiness of all our children. We firmly believe that healthy and happy children learn to the best of their ability!”