Staff at West Suffolk Hospital have said a tearful farewell to housekeeper Mary Webb, who has been keeping the maternity ward spotless for the past 32 years.
Colleagues crammed into the hospital’s community room last Friday to raise a glass to their friend.
Mary, who moved up to Suffolk from London 33 years ago having worked as a hairdresser, said it felt like one big family at the hospital.
“I can’t say I have loved the work but I do love the people here,” she said. “It has just been amazing. I feel I am ready to go but have enjoyed every minute working here.”
Mary, a grandmother-of-five, said she is looking to spend more time with her husband in her retirement.
“I’m already planning holidays too,” she said.
Mary worked alongside her daughter Dawn Hart in housekeeping as well as close friend Dominika Stanczyk who sees Mary as an adopted mother.
“I have only been in England for five years but feel I have family here now,” said Dominika. “She was so wonderful to work with.”
Jan Bloomfield, the hospital’s Director of Workforce and Communications, said she has a special connecton to Mary.
She said: “I have to say Mary and I have a bit of a link because Mary has seen me naked – and by that I mean without my make-up on – because Mary was there at the birth of both of my daughters.
“They are now 17 and 20 and have flown the nest but I feel Mary has played a part in their lives because she was there at the beginning.”