A laundry manager who has ironed more than a million items of clothing in her 30 years' service said she only meant to cover a fortnight's maternity leave.
Val Robson, 56, puts on 30 washes and irons more than 180 items a day at Middleton Hall Retirement Village in Middleton St George, near Darlington.
Despite ironing more than 1.1 million items in her time at work, the grandmother still finds motivation on a Friday evening to press her own clothes, as long as she has a glass of red wine and a Westlife CD on.
She said: "I came for a fortnight to cover someone on maternity leave and I've been here ever since.
"I get a lot of job satisfaction from coming in on a morning and seeing rows of empty baskets, and then seeing them all full of fresh, clean clothes when I've finished. I never stop.
"It's go, go, go all the time - but it keeps me fit. A million pieces seems like a huge amount of ironing but I don't really think about it, I just crack on. It sounds silly to most people but I love my job.
"I think most people wouldn't want to see the ironing board again if they did it for a living, but I don't mind at all.
"It's my Friday evening sorted - a pile of ironing, a glass of wine and Westlife."
Jeremy Walford, the Village's managing director, who awarded her a bouquet of flowers and a meal for two, said: "Val is one of our longest-serving employees and her work ethos and dedication to our residents is fantastic.
"She has so much energy and a pride for what she does. No one can get through the laundry as fast as Val and she always ensures the quality is there too."