THE borough’s longest serving dinner lady had a lunchtime to remember this week - as she shared it with the Queen!
Veteran lunch supervisor Thelma Harradence ditched her work gear on Tuesday to enjoy a lunch at Her Majesty’s summer garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The 76-year-old has been a dinner lady at Our Lady of the Wayside Catholic Primary School in Solihull for an impressive 40 years.
But the mother-of-two said she was “shocked” when she received the invitation to rub shoulders with royalty and fellow high achievers from around the country.
She said: “I’ve just done a job that I enjoy doing, and all of a sudden I’m in the limelight!
“It’s an honour. I’ve never seen the Queen in person and the last time I went to London was when I was a schoolgirl. I just love working with the children.”
Born in Handsworth, Thelma moved to Shirley with her husband Peter, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
The couple had two children, Elizabeth and Michael, and Thelma decided to become a dinner lady so she did not have to spend too long away from her family.
She now has two grandchildren and hopes to continue working at the school as long as she can.
Head teacher Bart O’Shea said: “Thelma’s a fantastic lady and a real stalwart.
“I’ve been at the school for 17 years, but Thelma has been serving in Solihull for the best part of 40 years. She’s Solihull’s longest-serving dinner lady. She is a rock.”