A CARETAKER is hanging up her keys after 26 years of looking after a primary school.
Well-loved by pupils and staff alike, Dot Burke has worked at Castle View Primary in Runcorn since 1979.
She starting working at the school where it is situated now at Meadway, Halton Brook, but temporarily relocated to Astmoor when the building burnt down 14 years ago.
And over these years, hardworking Dot has had to contend with many issues such as vandalism, but her most challenging task to date has been clearing up the yearly fallout of autumn leaves that litter the playground.
She celebrated her official retirement on Thursday and received a certificate for her achievements from Halton' s Local Education Authority (LEA) technical services manager, Peter Kelly.
Headteacher Lodzia Morris said: 'She has been with us for so long that she's become a large part of the school community.
'The only thing she finds difficult is clearing away the autumn leaves and I think she sometimes wishes she could wave a magic wand to get rid of them!
'I have been at the school since 1993 and I've known Dot to always go that extra mile, she'll certainly be missed.'
Dot, a Liverpudlian, plans to move to Pontefract in West Yorkshire to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren.
She said: 'I've loved my job but I'm now looking forward to seeing more of my grandchildren.
'They're teenagers now but I feel I've missed them growing up as they have gone through school.
'Everything's coming at once as I've got a holiday booked in April to Hong Kong and Bali and I'm also celebrating my Ruby wedding anniversary with my husband James.
'I have so many fond memories of the place that I lose count!
'But they gave me a good send off as a lot of my old friends and colleagues came along to join in a party as part of my send off.'