Val Woolis said an emotional goodbye to colleagues and friends after 35 years of service at Alfreton fashion house David Nieper.
Val, who was first employed in 1979 as a member of the pressing team, retired from her role in the dispatch team last month, but told guests at her leaving ceremony she would ‘really miss everyone.’
More than 200 staff from the firm gathered to see Val presented with gifts and thanked for her commitment and many years of service.
Val, 68, said: “Today has been really quite emotional, this has been a big part of my life for so long.
“Although I am looking forward to relaxing, I will miss the buzz and banter and all my work mates.
“I do thank Mr and Mrs Nieper for their support over the years – it really has been a fantastic place to work.”
Val, who now has several grandchildren, is looking forward to retirement and some family time especially with husband Pete. Although she does still plan on keeping to the factory girl’s holiday tradition, and will be jetting off to Tenerife later in the year with her ex-colleagues.
In her first job at the factory she was responsible for ironing and pressing the garments to perfection. She also checked the seams and stitching to ensure all clothes were in perfect condition before they were received by customers.
Indeed, many David Nieper customers over the last 30 years will have received Val’s personal signature and the mark of her approval on their garment’s label. It is customary in the David Nieper pressing team for the pressers to physically sign the swing tickets on every garment, taking ownership of the quality and giving an extra personal touch.
In more recent years Val moved to the dispatch section of the factory, where she sent garments to customers all over Europe.
Staff at the firm said Val would be sorely missed.