Friends spring surprise farewell party for Kath

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A Crawley dry cleaning company gave one of its workers a send off to remember when she retired after nearly 30 years.

Kath Stoner, 86, of West Green has worked for Apex Dry Cleaners for 28 years and on Wednesday staff at the business in Parkside surprised her with a retirement party.

jpco-13-11-13 Kath Stoner is retiring after 30 years of working at Apex Dry Cleaners (Pic by Jon Rigby)

jpco-13-11-13 Kath Stoner is retiring after 30 years of working at Apex Dry Cleaners (Pic by Jon Rigby)

Kath had the red carpet treatment as she arrived to see her colleagues waiting for her outside the shop and surrounded by balloons.

Apex manager Sam Avery, who took over the business from his father Rob 10 years ago, said: “For me it’s like having an extra grandma in the shop.

“A lot of customers are going to know her by name and they’ve been coming back to us because she’s been here.

“They’ve been coming in and asking for her. Right up until the last day Kath was with us she was training the young girls.”

Rob started the business in Southgate Parade in 1972 before opening the town centre shop in 1974. He said: “She trained all the Saturday girls. The customers are always asking after her. It’s always ‘where’s Kath?’”

Kath said: “I’ve worked for the whole family and it’s a lovely family to work for. I wouldn’t have worked their for that long if I hadn’t enjoyed it.

It’s working for a family that makes all the difference.”