Story & photos: Camille Daughma
“Leaving is like having my hand chopped off”, Mrs Janet Keen started off, trying to hold back the tears with a smile. Janet has worked at Firs Hill school as a dinner lady for 27 years and is now taking her well-earned retirement.
“I started working as a dinner lady at Herries School where my cousin worked at the time. I stayed there for four years then was transferred to Firs Hill School in 1984 as it was nearer my home.” Janet said she had enjoyed it so much she didn’t want to leave.
“I had informed the staff at Firs Hill that if at any time they are desperate, give me a call.”
Now a grandma, Janet will be retiring to be a full time nanny to look after her granddaughter, with her husband also retiring in April 2008.
“My most memorable day here was the 100th Birthday of the school which involved students dressing up in ‘Oldendays’ type dress.”
She remembers fondly the sports days which were held at the now Sheffield United Academy field. She really enjoyed it.
Her two sons Darren and Shaun, who she describes as smashing boys, attended Firs Hill School as well. They are now grown up and working – Darren 30, as a motor mechanic at Pentagon Vauxhall, and Shaun 29, at Clarks and Partners. “They gave no problems,” she recalls, “been good lads, touch wood.”