Barrow School says happy 80th birthday to its ex-pupil dinner lady

Alma Wright, seated centre, with great grandson Myles Illiffe, family staff and pupils of  Barrow Primary School on the eve of her birthday ANL-151113-153810001

Alma Wright, seated centre, with great grandson Myles Illiffe, family staff and pupils of Barrow Primary School on the eve of her birthday ANL-151113-153810001

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Alma Wright knew something was going on when the youngest children at Barrow Primary School started wishing her happy birthday.

But she still did not expect the eve of her birthday to become such a big event when she turned up at yesterday for her job as a midday supervisor – but, then, today is her 80th birthday.

Alma, who lives in Barrow, has been working at the Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust school for 47 years and started there as a pupil when her father moved to barrow as the village policeman when she was 10. Then her two daughters and granddaughter went there and great grandson Myles Illiffe is there now.

Alma said: “The girls I work with wouldn’t let me do any work, so I wandered around from child to child.”

She has always lived in the village and husband Ron is only from Risby, so working at the school she was natural.

“I did anything they needed me for,” she said. “I’ve always been a dinner lady but I used to run a little nursery group in the village and I’ve done volunteering, reading with the children.

“Over the years the school’s had pieces added on and taken off. It’s a beautiful school – the staff, the children, and everything, it’s lovely.

“I’m afraid they’ll tell me I’ve got to stop because I don’t want to.”

She gave out pupils’ weekly class certificates at an assembly at which head-teacher Helen Ashe said: “We’re celebrating a special birthday for a very special lady.”

All five classes had made cards for her.