A PAIR of dedicated childcare workers have bowed out after looking after local youngsters for 50 years between them.

Maria Lamb and Janet Anderson were given a heartfelt send off as they retired from their roles as early years childcare officers at Binnie Street Children's Centre in Gourock.

Maria, 65, started out working at the Gamble Family Centre before it merged with Gourock Pre5 Centre and Gourock Park Pre-School & Panda’s Playgroup to become Binnie Street CC.

She says the best part of the last 28 years has been getting to know generations of children and working with her colleagues.

Maria added: "I'll especially miss all the funny things that the children say.

"It's been great seeing children come back here as adults and say 'I remember you!'.

"Working with the team has been like being part of a big family.

"It's been a great job."

Maria is such a part of the furniture that she has agreed to go back during her retirement every Wednesday as a volunteer, to help the children learn how to sew and knit.

In her retirement she also plans to adopt a pet from Dogs Trust.

Janet, 63, started out working at Gourock Park Pre-School 22 years ago.

She says she'll miss the children and her colleagues very much.

Janet added: "I loved seeing the children coming in on the first day, when it's their first time away from their parents.

"They get to know you and they look for you when they come in and still speak about you when they're older.

"There's an amazing feeling of job satisfaction."

Head of centre Ruth Wyllie praised the pair for their remarkable commitment over such a sustained period.

She said: "I want to say a huge thank-you to Maria and Janet for their service at Binnie Street over the years.

"It's a sad day for us as they move on and they will both be much-missed.

"We wish them all the best in their retirement."