When Linda Tatum (76) started work at Moulton Chapel Primary School in 1966, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister and England was preparing to host the football World Cup.
Fifty years later, Mrs Tatum of Moulton Chapel is still a familiar and welcome face at the school for children and staff alike in her roles as a midday supervisor and teaching assistant.
Adults who are parents now sometimes come up to me and say ‘hello’ because they remember me from when they were at Moulton Chapel Primary School as children.Linda Tatum (76) of Moulton Chapel Primary School
She said: “I started working here because I lived nearby and when the lady who used to be the dinner lady went on holiday with her husband in school time, I was the only one who could step in.
“Then she moved away from the village and so the school asked me to take over.
“When I first started, I just served dinners and washed up the dishes.
“But because I used to work in an office, the headmaster at the time asked me if I wanted to take over as school secretary when the lady before me left.”
Mrs Tatum’s long service was recognised during a special pre-Easter assembly at the school on Thursday when she was presented with flowers, theatre tickets and a specially-made card signed by the pupils and staff.
Mrs Tatum said: “Whenever I’m in Spalding, adults who are parents now sometimes come up to me and say ‘hello’ because they remember me from when they were at Moulton Chapel Primary School as children.
“The school has changed structurally since then when, at one point, my office was in a cooridor.
“But not that much has changed and I feel that I’ve grown up here because I was only 25 or 26 when I first started as a dinner lady.”
During the presentation, part of a coffee and cake afternoon hosted by pupils and staff for parents and governors of the school, a series of photographs were shown spanning Mrs Tatum’s years as a staff member.
“I love doing my job here because you get to know how special the children and teachers are here,” Mrs Tatum said.
“The school is still happy for me to serve dinners, supervise the children in the playground and work as a teaching assistant, mainly in arts’ classes.”
Chairman of governors Simon Rogers said: “The fact that Mrs Tatum has been at our school for so long shows you what a fantastic place and what a fantastic community it is.”