Penny Warmly Welcomes her 25th Year at Ragdale

Mar 15, 2018
Posted in: Featured, Ragdale Hall News   Posted by: Tracy

She’s one of the most familiar faces here at Ragdale, and if you’ve paid us a visit in the past few decades, we think it’s quite likely you will have met our lovely Guest Liaison Officer, Penny Heeley.

This month is a very special month for Penny, as she celebrates an incredible 25 years’ service here at Ragdale!

Penny at GL Desk

Penny joined the Ragdale family on 15th March 1993 as a member of our fitness team. After the dance studio where she had worked for more than a decade closed suddenly, Penny phoned Ragdale to see if they had any jobs available in fitness – and little more than 48-hours later, she became a member of the Ragdale family.

During her time as a fitness instructor Penny was, as ever, a favourite amongst the guests, teaching step and aerobics, swimming lessons, relaxation classes and back in the day, ran archery classes. Around 15-years ago however, she had an opportunity to join our Guest Liaison team, and since then she’s never looked back.

Over the past 25 years there have been many memorable moments for Penny, including carrying out a fitness test on singer Kate Bush, and being asked to contribute to a book by Radio 4 Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray. But, she says, “the reason I’ve stayed at Ragdale for so long is because I just love the feel of the place. To me it’s like home, and I feel like I’m part of the Ragdale family – I have so many superb colleagues and not to mention our lovely guests.  I know I have the best job in the world!”

But it’s the guests that really make Penny’s job so special: “I’ve got a very good memory for faces so when I welcome a guest I’ve met before, it really is like seeing an old friend again – you’ll often see me greeting people with a hug and a kiss.

“I’ve made so many wonderful friends over the years. In fact, I was on holiday in the Canary Islands not too long ago, and while in my hotel heard a voice I was sure I recognised. Low and behold, when I turned around, it was a guest from Ragdale! Wherever I am in the world, I’ll always keep an eye out for a friendly face from Ragdale.”

Penny and a former guest of Ragdale bumped into each other in the sunny Canary Islands

Penny and a former guest of Ragdale bumped into each other in the sunny Canary Islands

Penny is married to Gerry with one son and grandchildren and lives in Keyworth. As well as her 25 years at Ragdale, Penny and Gerry are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in August.

Congratulations Penny, from all of your colleagues, friends and guests at Ragdale!

12 responses to “Penny Warmly Welcomes her 25th Year at Ragdale”

  1. Joy Townsend says:

    Congrats Penny. You were in fitness when I started coming to Ragdale 24 years ago. I loved your classes. Thanks for all your help over the years and especially the beginning of this month when I was caught out with the snow!! Always look forward to seeing you. See you in May. Have a great day, you deserve it xx

  2. Sarah and Richard Parr says:

    Congratulations Penny. You are such a warm lovely lady! We always hope that it’s you to greet us when we arrive.
    See you all in May! Xx

  3. Louise Drake says:

    WOW it’s a year of celebrations indeed – 25 must be the magic number as we are joining you to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary over the bank holiday. This is extra special as it was our chief bridesmaid (sadly no longer with us) who introduced us to Ragdale all those years ago!!!! Enjoy you year of celebrations it sounds well deserved and see you soon!

  4. Liz Flint says:

    Congratulations Penny, I can remember when you started as I used to go to your Aerobic classes at your previous job for about 10 years!! Time flies.
    Coming to Ragdale next week, hope I see you xx

  5. Carole Green says:

    Lovely memorable lady. Always feel like I have come home when Penny greets us. Have a wonderful year and hope to see you many times at Ragdale this year!

  6. Suzanne De Grussa says:

    My first visit to Ragdale Hall was in 1993 and I’ve been lucky enough to visit every year with my best friend. We’ve seen the Hall go through so many changes but Penny has always been a constant smile with a lovely welcome and she always makes you feel so special. Cogratulations on your 25 years! Hope to see you soon!

  7. Kim says:

    Wow, Penny congratulations. Diane and I have very fond memories of your aqua classes and laughing so much we took in more water than we should have. You are a treasure and someone I will always remember. Hope to see you again before too long

  8. Lesley says:

    I always look out for Penny when I visit Ragdale. Such a warm and friendly lady who makes you feel special no matter how many times you’ve visited. I look forward to seeing Penny again next April

  9. April Clarke says:

    Penny, you are crucial to the ‘Ragdale experience ‘
    We loved you when you taught line dancing, i well remember collapsing with laughter.
    We now really look forward to arriving at Ragdale and being greeted by you.
    You realize, of course, that you can never retire!

  10. Gillian walker says:

    Many congratulations Penny – it’s always so lovely to see you and you offer such a friendly welcome. You are a real credit to Ragdale and my friend and I look forward to to seeing you in December as usual ( hope you are on duty when we arrive !) xxx

  11. Ann Bowler says:

    Penny is a lovely lady. Always, friendly & helpful and looks amazing. Congratulations Penny

  12. Carol Houbert says:

    Congratulations Penny for staying the course. You are an institution in your own right just as much as Ragdale. Your welcoming hug and smile is legendary. I look forward to seeing you both at some point, hopefully soon.

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