1. ITV Report

Laundry manager irons million items in career to date

Laundry manager Val Robson has ironed more than one million items in her career to date. Photo: Middleton Hall Retirement Village/PA Wire

A laundry manager who has ironed more than a million items of clothing in her 30 years' service said she only meant to cover a fortnight's maternity leave.

Val Robson, who is 56, puts on 30 washes and irons more than 180 items a day at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Middleton St George, near Darlington.

Despite ironing more than 1.1 million items in her time at work, the grandmother still finds motivation on a Friday evening to press her own clothes, as long as she has a glass of red wine and a Westlife CD on.

I came for a fortnight to cover someone on maternity leave and I've been here ever since.

I get a lot of job satisfaction from coming in on a morning and seeing rows of empty baskets, and then seeing them all full of fresh, clean clothes when I've finished. I never stop.

It's go, go, go all the time - but it keeps me fit.

A million pieces seems like a huge amount of ironing but I don't really think about it, I just crack on. It sounds silly to most people but I love my job.

I think most people wouldn't want to see the ironing board again if they did it for a living, but I don't mind at all.

– Val Robson
Val Robson says that despite ironing at work, she's happy to do her own at work too. Credit: Middleton Hall Retirement Village/PA Wire

Jeremy Walford, the Village's managing director, who awarded her a bouquet of flowers and a meal for two, said: "Val is one of our longest-serving employees and her work ethos and dedication to our residents is fantastic.

"She has so much energy and a pride for what she does.

"No one can get through the laundry as fast as Val and she always ensures the quality is there too."