76 years between them. They were here in the days when consultants carved the turkey on Xmas Day. Yes really.

Ward 8D had a double retirement on its hands! Barbara Sanderson and Alison Thirlwall, semi-retired last Friday while celebrating with a farewell party. We asked them for a few words about completing 38 years each in our wonderful organisation.

What's you favourite memory from your career?

Barbara (B): Too many to think of, but I will never forget my first day in training and how excited and proud I felt.

Alison (A):  There are many memories and I have enjoyed my years nursing and made a lot of friends along the way.  Best memory was actually qualifying I was on holiday in Cornwall and had to ring up for my results from a pay phone!! It made my holiday.

What's your best highlight?

B - Again lots spring to mind as I have worked with some great teams, but I would say being promoted to Head and Neck Matron. Who would have thought an enrolled nurse could have done that! Also all the true friends I have made on my 38 year journey.

A- At Christmas we used to trim up the day room and we all wore fancy dress. The Drs used to bring in their families and the Consultant would carve the turkey and serve the patients Christmas dinner. How things have changed.Highlight was becoming a ward sister.

Was nursing always your first career choice?

B - I had always wanted to be a nurse so I achieved my dream, however if I hadn't been a nurse I've been told on many occasions that I should have been a comedian.

A - I wanted to be a vet as I have always been and animal lover, but I wasn't clever enough so thought I would nurse people instead !


Any standout plans for retirement?

B - As Matron would order... good old fashioned bedrest!!

A - I plan to have a lie in and hopefully have  a lot of holidays !! Also just have time to look after my mum and dad and spend time with my family and dogs. I'm looking forward to returning as a staff nurse and spending more time with patients.


Any advice for nurses just starting out now?

B - Enjoy yourself, keep smiling and remember the positives always outweigh the negatives.

A - If you're thinking of nursing you have to a thick skin and not easily take offence. Above all, you need a sense of humour and fun. 

* Both are coming back to carry on nursing for our patients.