A MUCH-LOVED school caretaker has retired after more than three decades.

Ann Malam, 65, is finally handing over the keys to Barnton Community Nursery and Primary School.

Mrs Malam has worked at the school for 35 years and executive headteacher Alison Lawson, who has worked with her for the last 17, believes she will leave a big hole in the school’s community.

She said: “Ann is very special to our whole school community. 

“Nothing is ever too much trouble for her, and she works tirelessly to ensure our site is immaculate. 

“Every child, parent and staff member has a good word to say about Ann. 

“We have all benefited from her love and kindness. 

“We all wish her a long and happy retirement."

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Northwich Guardian: Barnton Community Primary SchoolBarnton Community Primary School (Image: Google Maps)

Jane Burrage, the school’s maintenance manager, added: “Ann brings a unique energy and determination to our team. 

“She is always upbeat and keeps everyone smiling.”

Mrs Malam started her career at Barnton when the school was spread over two sites, beginning as a midday assistant at the infant school on Runcorn Road.

She later moved to Townfield Lane when the infant and junior school amalgamated 25 years ago.

As caretaker, one of her main roles has been looking after the school’s many animals, including pigs, goats, ducks chickens, rabbits and sheep.

Her personal favourite was Buster the goat.

Buster appeared to be equally fond of Ann, following her around the school premises as she went about her work.

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With the school year coming to an end last week, Mrs Malam will now be able to enjoy a well-earned break.

Despite retiring, she isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon, with plans to decorate her whole house before she begins planning a deserved holiday.

And she won’t be staying away from Barnton for too long.

Mrs Malam will return to the school as a volunteer, helping children with their reading.