Council workers who have clocked up a combined total of 73 years’ service to the people of South Northamptonshire are to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May.
Sixty-year-old Steven Hussey has been part or the refuse crew for 37 years while Renata Wincott, 52, started in the typing pool 36 years ago and went on to spend most of her time with the council as an administrator in Building Control.
She said: “I suppose it is a bit of a rarity in this day and age to get people who have worked somewhere for so long.
“So in some respects I consider it an achievement, but I’ve enjoyed the work and the people I’ve worked with.
“And I have the added benefit of living in South Northants and knowing my work goes some way towards creating a better place to live for my family, friends and neighbours.”
When Steven Hussey first started with South Northamptonshire District Council there was a depot at Richmond Road and he began by servicing a contract for the water board to maintain pumping stations.
He then joined the refuse team and worked his way from the back of the lorry as a loader, to the front as a driver. He currently serves mainly homes in Towcester and Grange Park.
He said: “When I first heard about the garden party I thought it was a wind up, I never thought I’d end up at Buckingham Palace. My wife is very excited; it’s just a privilege to be asked.”
SNC Leader, Councillor Ian McCord added: “Every year the council is invited to send two representatives to the Royal Garden Parties with a friend or spouse.
“When I learned about the exceptional length of service from Steven and Renata I thought how proud I would be for them to represent the Council on such a prestigious occasion.”
Garden parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s, when Queen Victoria instituted what were known as ‘breakfasts’ even though they took place in the afternoon.
In the 1950s the number of garden parties held at Buckingham Palace was increased from two to three a year.
They took the place of presentation parties attended by debutantes, but have evolved into a way of rewarding and recognising public service and are attended by people from all walks of life.