Friends and work colleagues Lynda Elmore, 60, and Sharon Battersby, 59, have worked in Tameside Hospital’s Pathology Department since 15September, 1969 when they turned up to work as trainees, at the tender ages of 17 and 16 respectively.
They went to school together to Astley Grammar School for Girls in Dukinfield– Lynda was in the year above Sharon – and have been good friends ever since.
“I haven’t any sisters or brothers, so Lynda is the nearest thing I’ve got to a sister. We have seen a lot of changes over the years, it’s really been unbelievable, but we’ve largely had a very happy working life,” saidSharon, from Stalybridge.
The pair now plan to go off on a cruise to see the Northern Lights straight after their retirement and will, of course, be staying in touch after they leave.
They will be saying goodbye to their work colleagues on 16th February as they leave the hospital on the same day.
Lynda, from Saddleworth, and Sharon both started as trainee MLSO’s
(Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers) in the Pathology Department and specialised in different disciplines, both taking short periods off to have children. Lynda specialised in Microbiology andSharonin Haematology and Blood Transfusion.
Director of Human Resources at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, David Wilkinson said: “This is an amazing story of two excellent members of our staff who have shown incredible dedication and commitment to the Trust.
“It is people like Lynda and Sharon which makes this hospital one of the best employers in the area. Everyone here wishes them all the best for their retirement.”
Robert Berry, Laboratory Manager, Microbiology said: ”I have known and worked with Lynda for 29 years, in fact she originally trained me in Microbiology so I can thank her personally for inspiring me to choose a career in Microbiology. Lynda has made a lot of friends in the laboratory, as well asSharonof course; I can honestly say she will be sorely missed. “
Geoff Lavelle, Laboratory Manager, Blood Sciences said: “Sharonis a highly skilled and dedicated Senior Scientist who has worked her whole career at Tameside and her skills will be missed.”
Nigel Humble, Pathology Manager said “The whole department wish Sharon and Lynda a long and happy retirement and are not only losing colleagues but very good friends.”