A WOMAN who has spent 40 years of her working life making one of the oldest coaching inns in England look its best has been recognised for her dedication.

Kathleen Hall said she and her husband, John, had been delighted when the management of 18th Century hotel The Golden Fleece, in Thirsk, marked her anniversary with a lunch, presentation and visit to Thirsk Racecourse’s Champagne Tuesday event.

Head of housekeeping Mrs Hall, who has worked for six different owners of the hotel, said while there had been many advances in the equipment she had used, the same level of care and attention was needed to look after the hotel, and in particular its antiques, which include an array of copper jugs.

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When she started working at the hotel aged 20 there were 24 bedrooms and four communal bathrooms and her duties included polishing the wooden floors daily and cleaning the managers’ flat before helping with the bedrooms.

When asked what advice she would give to someone starting out in the hospitality industry, Mrs Hall said: “Knuckle down and do the job to the best of your ability – that’s what I do.”

A spokeswoman for Homfray Hotels, which bought the hotel in 2006, said Mrs Hall’s attention to detail and consideration for her team has been exemplary.