A couple who have between them worked 67 years in a hospital — and met in an office romance - have been recognised for their long service.

A special event was held by The Whittington Health NHS trust to thank 40 staff members including Mandy and Jason Whittaker, who have each worked for 30 years or more at the hospital in Archway.

Mandy Whittaker has been working in the finance department since 1987, in an office that she recalls being full of smoke and ashtrays — and that’s in a hospital!

There were no computers back then, so Mandy would meticulously complete all calculations by hand.

Then along came a handsome young Jason Whittaker, kicking off his career at The Whittington in 1994, starting his first day cleaning floors in A&E.

Both he and Mandy had been born in the hospital, and Jason’s mum and dad also worked at the Whittington before him.

The two met by chance when Jason popped into Mandy’s payroll office one day to drop off his timesheets.

They soon began dating and regularly met at the hospital’s old social club, which back then would serve alcohol from 5pm.

“I was so young when I started work at the hospital,” Mandy recalls. “I have seen so much change down the years.

“People would walk into the finance office and ask, ‘Are you there?’ — because you could hardly see anything through the cigarette smoke!”

The social club, long since gone, was a safe haven for staff to socialise after their shift and would stage music and karaoke nights, quizzes and Christmas parties — the perfect setting for the couple to fall in love.

They fondly recall the club getting so rowdy one Friday night that the hospital chief executive at the time came down from his office to ask them to “keep the noise down”.

Jason has risen through the ranks over the years from cleaner to become the hospital trust’s logistics development manager, overseeing procurement for 11 NHS trusts across London. Mandy, meanwhile, is preparing to retire this year.

“The Whittington helped me meet my husband and helped me bring our son into the world,” Mandy added.