ONE of Harwich's first ever teaching assistants has retired after 23 years in the job.

Linda Howard started her school career as a lollipop lady at Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt.

But the former hairdresser, who took time out of work to raise her own three children, then became Spring Meadow Primary's first teaching assistant.

"It's been really lovely working at the school - I have some brilliant memories."

The 62-year-old now plans to spend more time with her family, including her retired husband Bob and six grandchildren.

Linda Gildea, headteacher, said: "She was certainly the first teaching assistant we had here and at the time was the only one - now we have about 17.

"She is a very positive person we will really miss - and we will miss her wonderful scones too."