OAP cleaner retires – at 84


AN OAP cleaner has finally hung up her mop at the age of 84 – because no-one told her to stop.

Jemima Hedley, from Edinburgh, has clocked up more than 30 years cleaning a sheltered housing complex.

And despite being 20 years older than some of the residents she cleans for, the hard-worker said she kept going because “no-one said to leave.”

Mina is still working hard at 84.

Nicknamed Mina, the feisty grandmother credits a daily swim for her enduring vitality.

Mrs Hedley, who could have retired 24 years ago, has been cleaning at the Viewpoint House in Gillespie Crescent, Edinburgh, since the 1980s.

Before that she worked at grocers Musselburgh and Fisherrow in Newcraighall, and as a nanny to a family in Grange Loan during the Second World War.

Mina, whose working day starts at around 6am, said she had never considered retiring before now.

She said: “Nobody said to me to retire so I just kept going.

“Now all my friends have retired and they are always saying ‘its time you gave up’.

“My son, Alan, is always telling me to retire.”

She said she would hand in her notice over the next few weeks.

She added: “I go swimming a lot – three times a week with the Swimming Women – which helps keep my energy levels. Of course, I will miss Viewpoint when I retire, I have enjoyed all the years I have worked.

“It’s just always been happy memories and a happy atmosphere.”

Mina said there have been many improvements to her place of work over the years, and that carpets put a stop to hours she spent washing and scrubbing hard floors.

The grandmother-of-one married her late husband Freddy at Hunter Square in 1949, and had her first son Andrew a year later.

She began cleaning the University campus in Kings Buildings before accepting a second job at Viewpoint Housing.

She has worked eight hours a week at the sheltered housing complex since she was 70.

She said: “I go swimming nearly every day which helps me keep fit and I’ll find something to do when I’m not working.”

Maureen McSherry, supporting housing officer at Viewpoint said Mina would be missed.

She said: “She always has a smile on her face and never complains.

“Being here for 30 years is a great achievement and it’s probably very unlikely that is going to happen again.

“Its going to be really strange not having her around. She’s actually cut her hours for the last month, and even that’s been strange.”