Dry cleaner Robyn Daley hangs out for retirement after 29 years

The final hanger: Robyn Daley has hung her last coat hanger at Central Dry Cleaners, and is looking forward to her retirement after 29 years and one day on the job. Photo: Peter Hardin 040118
The final hanger: Robyn Daley has hung her last coat hanger at Central Dry Cleaners, and is looking forward to her retirement after 29 years and one day on the job. Photo: Peter Hardin 040118

Robyn Daley knows who you are and what you wear. After 29 years and one day at Central Dry Cleaners, the Bendemeer native hung her final hanger in January and rode off into retirement to spend more time with family and drink more coffee. Mrs Daley is one of those familiar faces that make Tamworth tick. The Leader caught up with her after her final day on the job.

If you live in Tamworth then chances are that Robyn Daley knows what you wear.

After 29 years at Central Dry Cleaners, the Bendemeer native finally hung her last hanger and pressed her final shirt after 29 years and one day on the job last Thursday.

The Lobsey family-owned business has been operating on Belmore Street since 1941. Although, when Ms Daley started, the business was operating out of the petrol station on the corner.

In 1989, Mrs Daley pulled up to get some fuel on her way home from her job packing eggs, when a conversation with Ross Lobsey would go on to shape her life.

“I knew Ross because my mother-in-law used to work at the dry cleaners for his father, Eric,” Mrs Daley said.

“I asked him if there was any jobs going and he said he would keep me in mind.” 

Amazingly, two weeks later one of the other staff members hit the jackpot, while pressing a shirt next to the radio she heard her lotto numbers come up.

Needless to say, shortly after she had packed up and left, Mr Lobsey gave Mrs Daley a call, and the rest is history. Two years later, in 1992, the operation would move two doors down the road, where they remain today.

“Like any job it had had its moments, good and bad – I am the longest suffering staff member,” Mrs Daley said.

Steaming ahead: The retirement of Robyn Daley will leave a hole in the team at Central Dry Cleaners. Photo: Peter Hardin

Steaming ahead: The retirement of Robyn Daley will leave a hole in the team at Central Dry Cleaners. Photo: Peter Hardin

“I am sure I will miss the camaraderie of the girls I work with, and especially the interaction with the customers.

“I think I almost know every family in town from working here, and their clothes.”

While she might miss the customers and her colleagues, there are a few aspects that will not be missed in retirement, including being subject to “Ross’s uniquely renowned realm of rhyming slang and cliches”.

“No, I won’t miss those,” she said.

“I will definitely not miss the heat in the laundry in summer. It can be scorching hot.” 

Like all bosses and staff, Mrs Daley and Mr Lobsey have had “their moments from time to time”, but have also enjoyed “plenty of good times” as well.

“Robyn will be greatly and sadly missed by all of us here,” Mr Lobsey said.

“She was our longest-serving staff member, so will definitely leave a hole – we wish her all the best, but am sure we will see her around.” 

As for retirement plans, Mrs Daley only has two goals: to spend more time with family and friends, “and drink even more coffee”.

“I am going to get my health on track, spend some time with my Dad and visit my family,” she said.

“I am looking forward to not having to set that alarm, but I am sure I will be back – they will need my help at some stage.” 

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