An era has come to an end after Pat Hambling retired after 16 years managing Benjamin Court day centre - having worked for 23 years at another hospital on the same site.

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It was a remarkable few days for Mrs Hambling, who on August 26 celebrated 40 years of marriage to Mervyn, then retired on Friday and marked her 60th birthday on Monday.

And she was given a splendid send-off by her clients and colleagues, who arranged a party, sang songs and collected £600 for her leaving present.

Mrs Hambling, from Ridgeway, Cromer, was a nurse, along with her husband, at the nearby Fletcher Hospital from 1973 to 1996, when it closed.

She then transferred to Benjamin Court, and said she “loved” her job, which involved looking after and entertaining people who were at the centre for short-term respite.

She said: “I’m going to miss the job - although it never really felt like a job. The clients and my colleagues were fantastic. It was great fun.”

Mrs Hambling, who has a son, Stephen, with Mervyn, said she planned to “have a rest and spend more time in the garden”, but had been offered some hours to “entertain” some of the residents of the Benjamin Court flats.

She paid tribute to her former manager, Graham Rose, who, six years ago when Mr Hambling had a stroke, made it possible for her to continue to work by allowing her husband to come with her during afternoons.

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