Hampshire County Council Catering Services

30 years at HC3S

Take a trip though time and find out more about some of our longest-serving members of staff

Sally Willis

The first school I went to was Cherbourg Primary in Eastleigh, where I met the Head Teacher, who took me by the arm and said, “Come with me my darling, I will introduce you to the cook.” which he did. The cook asked me when I could start, then asked if I could stay there and then, which I did. I was given an old blue nylon coat with a white net hat with a soft peak. No sign of any induction or training!

After a few weeks I was offered a permanent post, ten hours a week. We then had white dress coats with the net cap and a red and white striped tabard. No sign of safety shoes either, we wore whatever we liked so long as they were comfortable.

So, I had a lovely job that fitted in with my children and didn’t have to go through an interview, didn’t fill in an application form or have an induction.

Equipment, well! There was a large cylinder by the sink which I was told to put 10lb of carrots in to peel. A while later the cook shouted at me “Where are my carrots?” I said very sheepishly "They are in the cylinder thing!" She shouted, “There is nothing left! What am I going to now?” As I had had no training and had never seen a machine like this before, something I didn’t do wrong again.

On chip day we had to peel potatoes in the machine, then one at a time, put the potatoes on its end on the chip cutter plate and pull the handle down to cut the chips. I had muscles like Popeye. The fryer was the best piece of kit in the kitchen, used for everything; we fried sausages, chicken nuggets, fish, made our own doughnuts, it was used every day.

Sally Willis