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School meals supremo retires after 43 years

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A photo of Angela Blower, who has retired as Catering Manager after 43 years with the council

Middlesbrough's school meals supremo has hung up her apron after more than four decades helping to feed the town's children.

Angela Blower has ensured countless children have received healthy, nutritious meals over the last 43 years.

That's played a key role in ensuring generations of the town's young people have been able to make the most of their education and get the best possible start in life.

And last week friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate the career of one of Middlesbrough Council's longest serving officers.

Angela joined the local authority straight from school as a trainee cook in September, 1978, spending her evenings studying for her City & Guilds and catering qualifications.

Her ability and passion for the job saw her rise through the ranks from Cleveland County Council to today's unitary Middlesbrough Council where she has been Catering Manager for 24 years.

Looking forward to a well-earned retirement, Angela said: "I've loved watching the meals service develop over the years, and I always enjoyed my regular visits to see the headteachers who always made me feel welcome.

"I particularly loved chatting to the children, especially at Christmas when they liked to share with me what was on their Christmas wish list.

"I'll miss the whole team whose commitment and dedication have been a tower of strength - they're a real one-off and it's been an honour to work with them.

"Over the years I have loved my job and enjoyed my work like a second family, and what a blessing it is to be able to say that.

"I'm now looking forward to having the time and the freedom to pursue my hobbies and interests including walking, horse riding, eating out, travel, and meeting more with my family and friends."

Geoff Field, Middlesbrough Council's Director of Environment and Community Services, said: "Angela's tireless efforts over the years have benefited countless pupils at schools across Middlesbrough, helping them to make the most of their education.

"She has built a great team with a deserved reputation for delivering a first class services, and that's something schools have really valued.

"We all her wish a long, happy and well-deserved retirement."

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