A TEACHER is retiring after 47 years at a school in Hereford during which time she has never had a day off sick.

Susan Whilding is a Food Technology teacher at The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School in Tupsley.

She started at Hereford Bluecoat School for Girls in 1970 and in 1973, when the Bishop’s mixed secondary school amalgamated with the girls’ school, she moved to the current site off Hampton Dene Road.

After turning 70 in January, she decided it was time to retire.

Mrs Whilding, from Broad Oak, said: “I have lots of wonderful memories to take with me and I get great pleasure from old pupils chatting about different things that happened, as well as the school events, Christmas carol services where I have read for the service, and the many trips abroad.

“It is now time to move on, hang up my apron and continue to enjoy my lifestyle as a smallholder with my animals and be able to travel on holiday outside term times.

“My strong connections with the church school, Tupsley and the cathedral will continue to hold me close to my faith.”

Mrs Whilding grew up in a farming family and went to school in Monmouth, before studying at Hereford Technical College as a food demonstrator.

She decided to become a teacher and went to a specialist food college in Shrewsbury and received her degree from Birmingham University in 1970.

When she first started working at the girls’ school she taught pupils to starch collars, make beds and iron a shirt in the correct way.

She said her highlights include two visits to Buckingham Palace garden parties for her dedication to teaching and for not taking a single day’s sick leave during her career.

She also won the Sunshine Pride Award 2016 for Outstanding Teacher of the year.

Carol Rushton, assistant headteacher, said Mrs Whilding has been sincere with staff and pupils alike.

She said she is also enthusiastic about her subject, willing to help anyone, understanding of all life situations and happy with whatever the day brings.