Worker at The Depperhaugh care home celebrates retirement on her 80th birthday

Bridget Muttock and manager Alison Fallowfield, seated, with some of the home’s other long serving s

Bridget Muttock and manager Alison Fallowfield, seated, with some of the homes other long serving staff. Picture: Kingsley Healthcare - Credit: Archant

A great grandmother has some heartfelt advice for anyone contemplating retirement in their 60s – don't do it.

Bridget Muttock was already in her late 40s when she embarked on her second career working at The Depperhaugh nursing home in Hoxne, near Diss.

And although she officially retires on her 80th birthday today, she is quick to assure colleagues and residents that they will still be seeing plenty of her.

The former agricultural worker, fondly known as Biddy, recalls it was an almost chance visit to The Depperhaugh which started her 33 year career.

Mrs Muttock said: 'I came to see the then owner, Mr John White, to inquire about possible work at 4.30pm. By 5pm I was in my overalls and starting work as a carer.

'Today, the home has all been modernised but back then it was something almost out of Downton Abbey.

'It was a private residential home. There was silver service and the residents, who included lords and ladies back then, had little bells to ring if they wanted help in some way, perhaps picking their paper up from the floor.'

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Mrs Muttock, a mother-of-three with six grandchildren and three great grandchildren, said The Depperhaugh has a deep family connection as her husband Mason worked alongside her as the gardener for 10 years.

During three decades, Mrs Muttock, who lives south of Eye, has worked as a carer, senior carer, cook and domestic.

She said: 'I have absolutely loved every minute. That's why I am still here. The Depperhaugh almost gets under your skin. I have always loved work. It's what gets you up in the morning and keeps you young.'

At a home where 10 members have staff have clocked up 40 years of service, Mrs Muttock won't even be the longest serving employee at the vintage tea party which has been organised for her.

That honour goes to groundsman Barry Freeman who has worked at there for 37 years.

Alison Fallowfield, manager of the home, now run by Kingsley Healthcare, said: 'The experience we have got here is fantastic. Why should people retire at 65 or 67? Biddy has so much empathy for our residents because she knows how you feel when you get older.'