End of an era as Judith hangs up her apron at hospice tearoom

It is the end of an era at a popular Vale of Belvoir tearoom after the manager for the last 12 years retired this week.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:20 pm
Judith Neale, who has retired as manager of the tearoom at Dove Cottage Hospice after 12 years EMN-210207-125832001
Judith Neale, who has retired as manager of the tearoom at Dove Cottage Hospice after 12 years EMN-210207-125832001

Judith Neale has run the litte eaterie at Dove Cottage Hospice at Stathern, since it opened in March 2009.

She said a final goodbye to volunteers and customers at a special party following her final shift on Tuesday evening.

“It was very emotional when I finished work for the last time and I got an amazing send-off from everyone,” said Judith, who has three children and four grandchildren.

“It was a very sad day and I had mixed emotions but it is time to move on.

“I am in my 70s and my husband is nearly 80 so it is time to spend more time with the family and do other things.”

The tearoom had closed temporarily during the pandemic, which was a blow for the hospice since the income helps it to pay the bills.

Takeaways were provided for a period with hospitality concerns prevented from reopening and customers are now being served only outside at the tea room, which also has a children’s play area.

Judith, who was particularly praised for the quality of her scones, added: “It’s been incredibly rewarding to work at the tearoom and to meet so many lovely people.

“I’ve had such great support from my team - they have been truly legendary.

“I shall be going back for a cup of tea now and then because it’s a wonderful place and long may it continue.”