Sue’s working life goes full circle

Sue Coulthard with Ashington Mayor Avril Chisholm, left, and Ian Lavery MP at her retirement party.
Sue Coulthard with Ashington Mayor Avril Chisholm, left, and Ian Lavery MP at her retirement party.

When Sue Coulthard began her time in employment as a committee clerk to Ashington Urban District Council in July 1969, she never dreamed that she would end her working life sitting in the same office at Ashington Town Hall.

But that is exactly what happened as she recently retired from Ashington Town Council.

As well as providing full administrative support to the local authority, she has been instrumental in organising events such as the Remembrance Day Service, a gardens competition and Ashington Fayre Day.

Her other jobs included typing pool supervisor at what was then Ashington Hospital. Her sister, Maureen Lawson, work with her in the same department.

Sue spent 15 years at Alcan before returning to the public sector in 1995 with a role at Northumberland County Council.

She left this authority following the local government reorganisation in 2009 and then joined the new Ashington Town Council in May 2010.

“When the county council completely refurbished Ashington Town Hall in 2013, the town council took up residence on the second floor and I couldn’t believe that I was back in the same office and at the same window as I had been in 1969,” she said.

“I have mixed feelings because I really enjoyed my time at the town council, but at 65 I’m ready to hang up my pen and minute book and spend more time on my hobbies and interests, including those I share with my husband (Jim).

“I’ve had flowers, cards and jewellery from quite a few people that I have worked with over the years, for which I’m very grateful, and it was lovely to see so many familiar faces at my retirement party in Ashington Cricket Club.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery was at the party. Sue worked with him on the production of a banner for the NUM when she was at the county council.

Her replacement at Ashington Town Council, Sharon Parmley, can be contacted on 01670 624520.

Coun Avril Chisholm, Mayor of Ashington, said: “Ashington Town Council has a small and dedicated team of councillors and staff and Sue has played a key role in the work of the town council since its formation.

“I’m sure all who have worked with Sue on the various events and projects in and around the town as well as all Ashington councillors and staff, past and present, will wish Sue a long and happy retirement.”