Ruby retirement for pub cleaner

It has been an emotional day for staff at a pub in Chester-le-Street, as they said goodbye to a cleaner who's worked there for 40 years. Sheila Nicholson is retiring at the age of 71 after taking over the job from her mother in 1972.

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Pub cleaner waves a fond farewell after forty years

Sheila Nicholson is retiring at the age of 71, having started work at The Red Lion pub in Chester-le-Street since 1972 - when she took over from her mother.

There will be a celebration party at the pub for Mrs Nicholson and some of the regulars.

"Shelia is one of the best people I know.

She's such a lovely person and the team and I will be so sad to see her go. It's always a pleasure to come down in the morning and see Shelia.

She's an important part of the success of the pub and with her passion to making sure the pub is spotless; she leaves some very big shoes to fill.

There's no smudge, smear or dust that she can't spot."

– Red Lion manager Jill Harkness


Cleaner hangs up duster after 40 years

A cleaner has hung up her duster after 41 years at the same County Durham pub.

71-year-old Sheila Nicholson worked six days a week until 18 months ago at the Red Lion in Chester-le-Street.

The great-grandmother still worked five days a week, starting six-hour shifts at 6am.

Working at the Red Lion in Front Street runs in her family, as her mother worked there for 25 years.

Mrs Nicholson, who has four sons, 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, is known for her thorough cleaning.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I am going to miss the people. But I will still pop in to keep an eye on things."

– Sheila Nicholson

She agreed that people nowadays may not have such a strong work ethic, but conceded: "May be that's just the age I am now."

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