TWO Marks and Spencer employees recently retired after giving a combined total of nearly 70 years of their working lives to the company.

Mandy Siddall, 57, and Joanne Pendlebury, 55, had worked at both the Rhyl and Prestatyn stores and were hoping to have a memorable retirement party - but due to the coronavirus pandemic, this has been put on hold.

However, that certainly hasn't dampened the pair’s spirits, as they popped to the store following their official retirement date of June 30, to pose for a picture along with some champagne bottles.

Joanne began working for Marks and Spencer in 1982 on a Youth Training Scheme for a period of six months, but ended up staying for nearly forty years.

Mandy started working for the company in 1989 on a temporary Xmas contract for six weeks and again ended up staying for more than 30 years.

Joanne was later promoted to foods manager and Mandy became assistant manger. They were a team who not only worked alongside each other in the store but became best friends outside of work.

Mandy, who is from Rhyl, said “We’ve worked for Marks through the good times and bad times. The saddest day was when the Rhyl store relocated to Prestatyn in 2013. We both shed a tear as the doors closed for a final time but were at Prestatyn the first day it opened to start all over.

"We've become really good friends through working there and we miss it already."

Joanne said “Many of these customers have become friends over the decades. We will both miss them dearly. What’s particularly sad is because of the the pandemic we will not be able to hold our farewell party to celebrate our lifetime commitment to the store and its wider community”

The duo made a pact two years ago that they would both finish on the same day. The retirement party has been put on hold until restrictions have been fully lifted.