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Judith Gray Housekeeper

Housekeeper, 82, keeps busy

You can’t keep a good housekeeper down – and when they have Royal connections you’d better listen up.  Handley House care home in York was naturally delighted when resident Judy Gray announced she’d like to volunteer with the housekeeping team.

Judy, whose first job at age 14 was working as a trainee waitress at the Royal Station Hotel, now The Principal York Hotel, adjacent to York station. She was headhunted by Buckingham Palace to work as a personal waitress to the Queen and during her time there met husband Chaz. They later travelled around the world with his job in the RAF before settling in York.

Judy moved to Handley House, run by Ideal Carehomes, earlier this year and was soon volunteering one morning a week with the housekeeping team, helping to keep the premises spick and span.  Head of Housekeeping at Handley House, Daniel Richardson, says: Judy is an absolute delight to have around the home and gives us a brilliant boost when she is ‘on shift’.”

She’s now a familiar sight with her pink feather duster, has her own Handley House staff uniform and name badge, and helps to set tables ahead of mealtimes, ensuring napkins are folded and cutlery polished.

Home manager, Rachel McNally, says: “When Judy said she wanted to help out around the home my heart melted and of course I had to get her a uniform and name badge!  We love listening to her stories of her time at the palace, and she is a valued part of our team.” There’s plenty to keep Judy and other residents of the popular care home busy. It has a hair salon, cinema, Sky Bar and spacious lounges overlooking landscaped gardens.