A South Tyneside health hero is ready to sail off into the sunset – after more than half a century of sterling service.
Devoted Maureen Hart has clocked off for the final time after supporting health services in the borough for 53 years.
I have had a great time and have always really enjoyed my job.Maureen Hart
Mrs Hart began her medical career at the age of just 17 as a lab typist based at the former Ingham Infirmary, South Shields, in 1963.
The 71-year-old went on to work as a medical secretary – and played a key role in the move to South Tyneside District Hospital in 1990.
Mrs Hart was named a NHS Health Hero as part of the service’s 60th anniversary celebrations for her tireless efforts to support colleagues through the Staff Benefit Association.
The hard-working gran, who has been married to Bill, also 71, for 52 years, has enjoyed a long goodbye as colleagues have organised a number of leaving parties for her to savour.
But she is now hoping to expand her horizons as she packs her bags for a cruise to the Mediterranean, before jetting off to New York and visiting the South of France.
Mrs Hart, from Mitford Road, South Shields, said: “I have had a great time and have always really enjoyed my job. I must have had about half a dozen leaving dos in the last couple of weeks.”
Mrs Hart has embraced a raft of changes and technological advancements since she first laid her fingers on a typewriter in the 1960s.
She added; “When I started there was just typewriters, no computers. The change to computers has been a great thing.”
Mrs Hart says she has a host of happy memories from her decades serving the NHS – but is eager to spend more time with her family and see more of the world.