Meet Kathy Metcalfe, 79, who has been working in the same South Shields shop for 57 years - is she South Tyneside's longest-serving worker, or do you know different?

Seventy nine and still going strong. That’s Kathy Metcalfe who could well be South Tyneside’s oldest worker – unless you know different, of course!

Saturday, 4th September 2021, 4:55 am

Wonderful Kathy has put in an impressive 57 years of continuous service at Metcalfe’s home decor shop in Westoe Road, South Shields.

She is 80 this month but she has no intention of retiring any time soon. She said: “I will keep going as long as I am able to.

"It keeps me fit and it keeps my mind going.”

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Kathy Metcalfe who is still working in her family's decor shop after 57 years.

She still works behind the counter at the shop which specialises in wallpaper, paint and anything else to do with home decor.

Kathy has no problem reaching anything on shelves. ‘I just use the steps’, she said.

She works one day a week but comes in three other days each week ‘to make sure everything is running properly’

And even when she is not at work, she refuses to sit back and relax. She loves a good walk.

Kathy Metcalfe at Metcalfe Walker's home decor business.

It was Kathy’s father in law Anthony Metcalfe who first opened the shop in 1944 in Laygate Lane. Anthony’s son Walter joined his father in the business and Kathy became another member of the team when she married her husband who passed away 5 years ago aged 78.

Her son Ian is also involved in the firm now and Kathy explained why she loves to keep involved.

“We have customers who have been with us for years and never go anywhere else. Some will say ‘my mother came to you years ago’.

“I will keep working. It gets you up in the morning. It keeps me going and it keeps me occupied.”

Kathy Metcalfe at Metcalfe Walker's home decor business. Picture by FRANK REID

At different times, the Metcalfe business has had shops in Laygate Lane, Boldon Lane, The Nook and Westoe Road although only one remains now.

Do you know of someone who is still going strong in their job after decades of loyal service?

Is there an outstanding worker who deserves to have their story told for their outstanding commitment in their 70s or 80s – or older?

Get in touch and sing their praises. Tell us more by emailing [email protected]

Kathy Metcalfe who has amassed an amazing 57 years at Metcalfe Walker's home decor business.Picture by FRANK REID

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Kathy Metcalfe at Metcalfe Walker's home decor business. Picture by FRANK REID
Kathy Metcalfe who is still working hard after a 57 year career in the same decor shop.