Ragdale Hall’s longest-serving member of staff - 59-year-old Carol Bowes, of Melton - is celebrating 40 years service there this month.
She started working a few hours a week, when the venue was owned by Slimming World, preparing guests’ breakfasts, which consisted of just a drink, boiled egg and a slice of Ryvita.
Carol soon moved to a role with the laundry and housekeeping team and has stayed there ever since - she met her partner of 15 years at Ragdale, Carl, who retired in 2007 after 30 years service there.
She said:”It is a great place to work. The hall itself is a lovely building and I love meeting the variety of guests we get here - and with so much beautiful scenery around you every day you do feel lucky to be a part of it all.”
Also celebrating long-service milestones are Ragdale Hall directors David Hamdorff and Allison Garner - who have both been there 25 years.
David, Ragdale’s Managing Director, was part of the London-based team advising the then prospective owners, Garry Nesbitt and Michael Isaacs, on the purchase of Ragdale in 1990.
David said: “Things have changed a lot in 25 years. Food was rationed and we weighed every guest when they arrived and when they left. Now you can eat top quality food and as much as you like. We had one small indoor pool and now we have four.
“But one thing that hasn’t changed is the incredible passion of the employees and all those associated with the business, and I’m proud that Ragdale has become an established part of the Melton community.”
Personnel Director, Allison Garner, said: “Although Ragdale Hall has become one of the most successful and celebrated health spas in the country, there were challenges in the early days. There was a period of financial difficulty and employees chose to donate their tips to Ragdale to help get through it – such a demonstration of team spirit makes you realise you’re part of something special.”
Allison’s other memories from the early days include American rock band Aerosmith’s visit, which involved tucking in to fish and chips in the Garden Room. Other staff celebrating 25 years with Ragdale this year include head gardener Andrew Nicholson, health and fitness consultant Dean Hodgkin plus food and beverage administrator Nicky Watchorn.