Friday, 23 March 2018

Ode to Shelagh

Shelagh Simpson, who sadly died last month was, for many years, Catering Manager at the Jessop Hospital for Women in Sheffield. She was a larger-than-life character who was funny, kind-hearted and wont to swear a lot - thus becoming known as "Mrs Bleeding Simpson". Although on a tight budget she, and her admirable staff, consistently produced extremely good food.

Environmental Health Officer (and thoroughly nice man) Roger Hart was the bane of our lives. The kitchen was located in a Victorian building, and we lived in fear of what he'd find next (and how much it would cost to rectify).

This verse was written to mark the occasion of her retirement from the NHS.


The words to describe her aren't easy to find:
Shelagh's wholly unique; she is one of a kind.
To improve patients' food they've brought in Grossman (Lloyd)
But what good your Oliver, Smith, Leith or Floyd?

Who else but our Shelagh, without qualm or gripe,
Would scour Sheffield butchers to seek out some tripe?
Just because, if not found, we would find ourselves failing,
A little old lady, who's fragile and ailing.

Oh so many times she's been put to the test,
But has never been fazed, matter not the request.
A short notice buffet? No problem, we'll try...
Could you please do mince pies? Yes, I know it's July.

Her language is colourful - says what she thinks,
But she cares, and remembers what everyone drinks.
A few more of her sort's what our service is needing,
Her departure, I'm sure, will leave all our hearts bleeding.

E'en a Hart name of Roger, who comes unannounced.
What's he chuffin' found this time? On what has he pounced?
A temperature blip? A cockroach? A cricket?
She can now grab his probe, and knows just where to stick it!

She leaves with our thanks and our love and goodwill,
And a bleeding great gap no one ever could fill.
To the young docs, she's mother; tonight she's "mine host",
So please raise your glasses, Our Shelagh, a toast!

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