Sisters Who Clocked UP 74 Years Cleaning School Hang Up The Dusters

PUBLISHED: 18:32 06 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:58 04 May 2010

Shirley and Maureen

Shirley and Maureen

TWO sisters who have clocked up 74 years between them as school cleaners have hung up their dusters for a well-earned retirement. When Shirley Forsdick joined King s Junior School cleaning staff in 1971, she decided her mission would be to make the school

TWO sisters who have clocked up 74 years between them as school cleaners have hung up their dusters for a well-earned retirement.

When Shirley Forsdick joined King's Junior School cleaning staff in 1971, she decided her mission would be to make the school "the cleanest clean it's ever been".

Two years later she recruited her sister Maureen Edmonds to help in the task and between them they have clocked up 74 years.

"Within days of their joint assault the classrooms and house rooms shone with a sheen that matched both ladies' sparkling characters," said former senior master, James Tilly, who well remembers the arrival of "the cleaning tornados".

"When I first encountered Shirley she was on her knees scraping accumulated polish off the corridor floor with a chisel just outside the Art Room, which in those days was the boys' changing room. How quickly they managed to transform it into a freshly scented facility defies all belief."

The two sisters are Plaistow-born Londoners who were evacuated to Ely - their mother's home city - to avoid the Blitz during World War Two. They have remained in Ely ever since.

At the final assembly of the term, the head of King's Junior School, Richard Whymark, presented them with gifts and thanked them for their dedication and loyalty and wished them a long and happy retirement.

Shirley is 72 and she and husband Ron have three sons and two grandchildren. Maureen, who is married to Michael, has just celebrated her seventieth birthday. She has a son and a daughter and three grandsons.

"Our husbands are great friends, we go on holidays together, so in our retirement we are planning more holidays together, days out, spending more time with our families and friends and just relaxing and enjoying ourselves," said Shirley.

Pic: Ready for a well-earned rest, Shirley Forsdick, left, and Maureen Edmonds who have given a total of 74 years' service to King's Junior School.

Photo: SUPPLIED.

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