BARBARA Hubbard has retired after 23 years as caretaker at Newport Junior School in Aldershot.

Before that she was cleaner for 12 years, and she instigated the building of a greenhouse link between the lower and upper schools which pupils can walk through.

"I started with geraniums, then pumpkins, and this is where I ended up," she said.

The greenhouse is now filled with many different varieties of plants and brightly coloured flowers, which the pupils regularly draw in their art lessons.

It also gives the children the opportunity to learn about flowers and take an interest in how to take care of them. Mrs Hubbard changed the flowers with each season to ensure that the linkway was always blooming.

"I never expected it to be this big," said Mrs Hubbard. "When I started it was just bare dirt, so I decided to fill it with flowers.

"I only live round the corner so it was handy to have found such a nice job.

"The teachers are all my friends — I've seen so many come and go, but they're all brilliant.

"I will definitely come and visit the school shows and help them organise things."

Acting head Barbara Goodchild said: "Barbara made it her mission over the last ten years to create this environment for the children.

"She has always done over and above her job. Although we have a replacement caretaker she will be a hard act to follow."

Barbara Hubbard is pictured in the greenhouse link.