A surprise tea party has been held to mark a caretaker’s 40 year-anniversary since starting her job.

Jeanette Tappenden who has fully maintained the upkeep of Epping Hall at Epping Town Council, was greeted by family and council members past and present on Tuesday, June 4.

Guests enjoyed an afternoon tea laid out at Julie at Stonards café at the Stonards Hill recreation ground to mark the milestone occasion.

Since Monday, June 4 1979, Mrs Tappenden has worked with countless members of town council staff, including seven town council clerks and with 39 different town mayors.

Current Epping Town Mayor, Grahame Scruton, presented Mrs Tappenden with an anniversary gift and flowers and paid tribute to her contribution to the town council.

During his speech, Mr Scruton thanked the beloved caretaker for her "dedication and commitment to the town council and for the special extras that make you a special employee".