Ipswich: Goodbye Gertie - hospital star retires after 42 years

IPSWICH: She has helped thousands of new mums with their little bundles of joy.

But today, dedicated Gertie Leacock is saying her farewells and preparing to take life a little easier after retiring from her job at Ipswich Hospital, where she has served with such distinction for the last 42 years.

Over the course of her career, Gertie has provided an invaluable service in a number of capacities.

The 68-year-old is one of the hospital’s team of hostesses, helping patients with their food, cleaning wards and helping mums with their new babies in the maternity department.

When she started at the Heath Road site, the team wore pink uniforms and were affectionately known as the Pink Ladies.

For the last eight years she has worked on Orwell Ward and also helps with care of the elderly.

But today marks the great-grandmother’s retirement as she prepares to hang up her apron.

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“I am going to miss all the babies and their lovely mums,” said Gertie, who lives in Emlen Road, Ipswich.

“My job has been full of variety in every way. I help feeding the patients and looking after the mums and babies – wherever there is food I am there.”

But dedicated Gertie has always gone above and beyond.

She added: “I have seen thousands of babies born here and I always like to give the mums a little bit of Gertie’s wisdom.

“I help steer them in the right direction. I tell them that you have to let the baby know you are the boss. They will run you ragged otherwise. I have five kids and they have kept me busy over the years.

“If you let them they won’t let you sleep or eat. You must make time for yourself, you have got to find the balance between time for you and time for them.”

As well as spending more time with her children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, Gertie is planning to make the most of her retirement by taking in more of the British Isles.

“I’m planning, by the grace of God, to travel. I want to see more of the UK,” she added.

“But it is going to be sad saying goodbye – I am going to miss all the mums, babies and my team.”

n Did Gertie help you? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk