A half-century of hard work for Toots

Agnes Spiers, known as 'Tootsie' at Seafield Caravan Park in Seahouses.
Agnes Spiers, known as 'Tootsie' at Seafield Caravan Park in Seahouses.

A dedicated woman hit a major milestone yesterday as she celebrated working 50 years for one employer on the north Northumberland coast.

Agnes Spiers, known as Toots, has worked for the Britton family, who own Seafield Caravan Park and the Ocean Club in Seahouses, since she arrived from Ireland as a 16-year-old.

The jobs were advertised in a newspaper in Ireland and she came over with her sister and friends.

“I came over when I was 16 and I only came for the summer to be honest,” said Agnes.

“I went home at Christmas and came back in February and stayed ever since.

“I got married and had a family and just stayed.”

Agnes married Alan, from Bamburgh, and the couple had five sons, including a set of twins, and lived in Seahouses all their lives.

She started off working as a waitress then went into the kitchens in Bamburgh then went to the Seafield restaurant, followed by the Viking.

Finally she moved into the caravan park where she now works as one of the housekeepers.

“I have done more or less everything,” she added.

But, according to Agnes, it doesn’t feel like half-a-century that she has been working for the Brittons.

“I want to keep going as long as I can and as long as they want me, but to be honest I’m fitter than some of the young-uns!” she said.

Not only does she love living in north Northumberland – meaning she hasn’t been back to Ireland for about 40 years when her first son was a one-year-old – but she also loves where she works.

Thanking her bosses, Agnes said: “They are great people to work for, I couldn’t ask for better bosses.

“Mr and Mrs Britton, when they were alive, were absolutely fantastic.”

And as Agnes continued her career, there she saw the Britton’s children grow up to the point that they are now her bosses.

“It’s really like one big happy family,” she said. “That’s the only way I can explain it.”

Agnes was described by her employers as ‘hard-working, reliable and loyal’.

“Well, she must be to have been here this long,” added Carolyn Britton.