Some of the people most important to keeping Ragdale Hall running smoothly work behind the scenes, and that can certainly be said of Glenda Gardner, Head of our staff canteen (pictured above with our owners Penny Nesbitt, Tristan Nesbitt and Michael Isaacs) who is this month celebrating a whopping 40 years of working here at the Hall.
Glenda’s been responsible for feeding the hundreds of Ragdale Hall staff since the canteen opened in the early 1990s, but before that she worked in our main kitchen, starting here in 1977 when the Hall was owned by Slimming Magazine.
Glenda now leads the eight-strong staff canteen team and is responsible for planning the menus and ordering the food (very important) to recruiting and training her team members.
Now aged 69, Glenda still lives in her home town of Melton Mowbray and has two children, four grandchildren – and five great grandchildren! She loves her job and feels part of an even bigger ‘family’ at Ragdale Hall. She says: “I’ve been really looked after here and have always felt very secure in my job. The staff canteen is a real hub where everyone comes together; there aren’t many places where all the staff – including the directors – will sit together for their meals and chat to each other and I think that really sums up Ragdale Hall.”
Glenda has worked in catering since she was 16 but in fact wanted to be a librarian. She attended the Sarson School for Girls in Melton Mowbray where she was the captain of the school library and heavily involved in running it. Glenda’s parents steered her away from a career in books (thankfully for us!) but she still spends a lot of her leisure time in her local library. Her other hobbies include gardening and decorating, and she was very pleased to have mastered the art of wallpapering on her first attempt aged 67! (We understand this is some achievement given that she still manages to get cream on the ceiling and her shoes when making the cake mix in the canteen, and her team are quick to run for cover when they see her getting the mixer out).
Glenda has no plans to retire at the moment and adds: “I couldn’t do such a good job without my great team, we all help each other out. And I enjoy working with all the staff here but especially the younger ones – they tire you out but they also keep you young!”