After 46 years of service and more than 10,000 working days, a Leeds hotel worker has finally called time on his career.
Michael Cox, from Hunslet, started work at The Queens Hotel, in City Square, Leeds, as a junior pastry chef in 1966 and has stayed there ever since.
Having worked his way up to become a senior pastry chef in 1969, Michael even met his future wife Mary, who was working at The Queens as a maid, there in the same year.
To mark the 65-year-old’s send off, the Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Ann Castle and former England rugby league captain and current Leeds Rhinos star Jamie Peacock MBE came to the landmark hotel to congratulate him.
Michael, who has spent the last 17 years working on the hotel’s maintenance team, said: “I was expecting just a few sandwiches. When I saw the Lord Mayor’s car outside, I thought ‘That’s never for me’, but it was.
“Having Jamie Peacock here as well has just crowned it off – I’m lost for words.”
Around 100 of Michael’s close family, friends, colleagues and former colleagues enjoyed a special retirement lunch, where he was presented with a piece of commemorative glassware on behalf of the Leeds Hotels and Venues Association.
He said: “When I first started, jobs were for life. Even then, I don’t think I ever thought I would be retiring from the same building 46 years later. It has been a fantastic place to work.”
The Queens, which was opened in 1863, is owned by QHotels, which also boasts hotels such as The Midland in Manchester, and Crewe Hall in Cheshire.
QHotels’ managing director Michael Purtill also made the trip to Michael’s gathering.
Coun Castle said: “Visitors to Leeds form an opinion of the city from the people they meet here. If they meet people like Michael, they will form a positive impression of the city and that’s what I want.”
Ivar van Diepen, general manager of The Queens, added: “Michael has been a real asset and knowledge bank here at the hotel for a huge number of years and, while we hope retirement marks the start of a happy new chapter for Michael and his wife Mary, we will miss him greatly.”