THE co-owner of a family attraction has paid tribute to a member of staff who has retired after almost 15 years.

Mary Milburn, described as a 'stalwart' member of staff, was part of the welcome team at Walby Farm Park in Carlisle.

In a statement, a spokesperson from the Walby Farm Park said: “Today we say goodbye and happy retirement to a stalwart member of staff.

“Mary has been with us since before we launched in June 2008.

“She is one of the unsung heroes at Walby Farm Park, and part of the glue that holds us together.

“She has been heavily involved in running our Messy Mornings and took on the mantle for all the lovely flowers since we opened, including last year’s Cumberland Show.

“She also won Team Walby’s chilli growing competition in 2021.

In Cumbria: Staff at Walby Farm Park, Mary is top row, third from the rightStaff at Walby Farm Park, Mary is top row, third from the right (Image: Walby Farm Park)

“In her retirement, Mary will be helping to look after her twin grandchildren – we’re not so sure you can call that retiring though!

“So, a huge thank you to Mary for her hard work and dedication to us over the years, she will be missed.”

Neil Milbourn, who owns the park with his wife Katie, added: “She’s been a fantastic work colleague, and she set a standard that hopefully we carry forward.

“She joined a couple of months before we opened, and helped with getting the equipment, mostly kitchen equipment, installed, and she became a valued member of our reception and welcome team.

“She helped coordinate parties and educational visits as well.”

Her work in the Messy Mornings saw a seasonal event be added to the Walby Farm Park calendar, mainly aimed at parents with their toddlers to do something hands-on for fun.

Neil added: “She went above and beyond, which in the hospitality industry is much appreciated.

“The lady that she started her first day with has been working alongside her for 15 years, and she was never afraid to do anything.

“We are having an event on Friday to send her off, but she doesn’t know where we’re going yet, and today (January 10) she got a lovely send-off from all of her colleagues.”

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