Couple retire from West Suffolk Hospital together with 50 years’ work between them

George and Valerie McCourt, both retiring from West Suffolk Hospital ANL-141029-104836001
George and Valerie McCourt, both retiring from West Suffolk Hospital ANL-141029-104836001
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A couple who have worked at West Suffolk Hospital for a total of 50 years between them are retiring together today.

Valerie McCourt, 69, has worked as a housekeeper at the hospital in Hardwick Lane for 26 years, while husband George, 66, has worked in various departments, including nursing and pre-assessments, for 24 years.

In a celebration at the hospital’s Facilities Unit on Tuesday, Valerie praised her colleagues for the support they gave her when her husband died soon after she started her job.

“We are a sort of family here, we help each other out when it’s needed,” she said.

“I’m going to miss the people, not just the housekeepers but everybody in the hospital.”

George, who had a celebration for his retirement at the hospital last week, said: “I will miss practically everything about the hospital.

“I was in two minds whether I would leave or not – to come to a full stop after working all your life is a big move.”

The couple, who live in Bacton and have been married for 20 years, started out as friends before dating.

George said: “I was a confirmed bachelor before I met Valerie.”

Valerie added: “We used to see each other at work and chat, not thinking that he was going to be my next husband. You just don’t know what is around the corner.”

With their extra free time, Valerie wants to visit her daughters in America and George plans pursue his new-found love of photography.

“We don’t have anything planned,” said George. “We said we would just chill out for a year and see what happens.”