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End of an era; Women retries after 35 years with Tyneside family business.

Byline: By GARETH DEIGHAN Industrial Reporter

ONE of the longest-standing employees at Newcastle's Hoults Estate is retiring after more than three decades with the company.

When Val Taylor started working for the family 35 years ago, the company was a removals firm and she was helping to run a fleet of 70 furniture vans.

She eventually became the first female fleet manager the company ever employed.

Then, when the Hoult family sold the removals business in 1983, Val became the first and only employee of Hoults Estates when their Walker Road site had only five tenants. Since then Val has worked alongside company managing director Fred Hoult and watched the site develop into a thriving business community with 60 businesses including state-of-the-art media, film and design companies - but still retaining some of the original tenants.

Mother-of-two and grandmother-of-six Val said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my working life.

"I'll miss the contact with all of the friendly people that I have met through the business - one of the greatest pleasures has been seeing small businesses develop into fully-fledged enterprises."

The company was a trailblazer in the first "easy in easy out" form of licences, which encouraged small businesses to start up. Over the years, many household names have used their space, including Berghaus, Fenwick, Farnons, Diversey Lever, JG Windows, the NHS, Theme Bins, and Chubb Safes. Val was involved in starting up Hoults company Lock N Store in Newcastle in 1988.

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BLAZING A TRAIL - long-standing employee Val Taylor and company managing director Fred Hoult
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 10, 2008
Words:255
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