AN East Lancashire school cook is leaving her kitchen to see the world.

Diane Longstaff is off to Scandinavia and South America.

She has worked in the catering department of Rossendale's Whitworth Community High School for 35 years rising to be its manager,

Now Mrs Longstaff is taking early retirement to enjoy a cruise to the Norwegian fjords with her husband Alan before they join her sister Michelle and her husband Darren for two weeks in Peru.

She said: “I started working here in November 1984 as a kitchen assistant, then I moved up to Assistant Cook in 1991 and I have been the Catering Manager since 1994.

“The school has changed a lot over that time and when I first came here we just provided lunch, now we have breakfasts, break snacks and lunch.

“When I first came here we had just two different dinners and a dessert and the students would have dinner tickets.

“Then it changed and we had an a la carte menu with pie and chips.

“In the ’90s it changed to serving fast food and now it is back to more traditional food. We have a sandwich bar and a pasta bar. and we serve more vegetarian meals these days.

“I love making food and love seeing the plates come back empty.”