First published in the Saddleworth Independent
COUNCILLORS have come and gone, so too have a handful of clerks – but there has been one constant for 25 years at Saddleworth Parish Council.
That’s why to mark Hazel Dutton’s quarter of a century of service, colleagues and members presented the Greenfield mum of one with flowers and congratulations card.
And Hazel, secretary to current clerk Sharon Hibbert, has no thoughts of retirement.
“Providing they will still have me I intend carrying on. My brain is still working fine,” she said
“Mind you they haven’t made me permanent yet! I was told after six months it would be made permanent, but it has still never happened.
“But I have always, always loved this job. I used to be head of resources at a business centre in Manchester, but I got fed up of all the travelling.”
Hazel has worked alongside five clerks and six sets of councillors after taking up her post at Uppermill Civic Hall in 1996.
And it’s not only personnel who have changed.
“I was trained on a sit up and beg typewriter,” she explained.
“Then we went to electric typewriters, word processors and now computers.
“The hall has been refurbished as well since I first started. And I love this place; I love architecture and old buildings so it has been a joy to work in this place.”
Sharon, who succeeded Pam Bailey in July 2020, paid her own tribute: “Hazel is the font of all knowledge,” she said. “I need her to keep me right.”