Pendle couple have big plans for retirement

A Pendle husband and wife are looking forward to another chapter in their lives as they retired together.

Neil (60) and Jennifer (58) Hodgson, who met when Neil was a trainee engineer and Jennifer an apprentice typist at Lucas Industries, Burnley, left their respective jobs last week.

Neil finished as a director at Kaman Composites, Darwen, and Jennifer a teaching assistant at Coates Lane Primary School, Barnoldswick.

The Hodgsons, of Hollin Fold, Blacko, popped open a bottle of champagne to mark the milestone.

Jennifer, who previously worked at Lomeshaye Day Nursery, set up the breakfast and after-school clubs at Coates Lane in 2001. She said: “It’s been an overwhelming and emotional final two days at school after 18 years here. More has been done for me than I ever expected.

“Coates Lane is such a happy, lovely, warming and welcoming school. Teachers and parents have been in tears and I’ve had hugs from children saying they will miss my breakfasts. It’s been a wonderful time.

“I’m proud to say I started the club which has gone from strength to strength.

“But retirement is going to be fantastic. We decided it’s our time and it will be another era of our life together.”

As well as looking forward to relaxing, the Hodgsons are hoping to enjoy foreign travel and caring for grandchildren Cameron (2) and Alfie (1).

Neil, who is chairman of Blacko Parish Council, said: “I’ve worked in aerospace for 38 years and I’ve found it really enjoyable.

“One memorable story from work was when I went to New Zealand for six hours! The engineer I went to see had been moved sideways while I was flying out and couldn’t face seeing me when I arrived.

“Jennifer’s sister and her husband have just retired and they were both teachers and our daughter is also in education so it’s like I’ve been in a staff room too at times.

“I suppose to continue on the education theme, I hope I have managed to develop people down the years.

“I think we’re both looking forward to doing things a bit slower and making what chores are now more rewarding tasks.

“Our retirement holiday will be to the Grand Canyon and we have a holiday in France to look forward to and Florida next year.”