For Bolton-based agent Sue Mulligan the buzz of advising customers where to go on holiday has never diminished – even after 40 years.

Mulligan started her career at Althams Travel as a sales consultant in 1979 when she joined its branch in Market Street in Bolton.

Twenty-five years later, Mulligan (pictured) was promoted to regional manager responsible for 15 branches and 80 staff.

The agency now employs more than 230 staff at its Burnley head office and across 32 shops located across Lancashire and Yorkshire, in addition to a network of homeworkers.

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“When I started with Althams Travel in 1979 computers did not feature at all and all communications were either by phone or post,” Mulligan said.

“Nowadays everything is managed online but the one thing that will never change is the personal, face-to-face contact with our lovely customers and staff.”

She added that there was no better way to build long-lasting friendships than to talk to customers.

Althams Travel managing director Sandra McAllister (pictured) praised the long-standing employee, and said the team was delighted to celebrate Mulligan’s 40th year with the company.

“Sue has been an amazing asset to our company working her way up through the ranks and sharing her expertise and knowledge with other staff and customers,” she said.

The first holiday Mulligan booked for a customer was a week away in Jersey.

She said: “I remember being very nervous making sure that everything was carefully planned for them – but they returned having had a wonderful time and they continued to book with me and Althams Travel for many years to come.”

Asked where her favourite holiday hotspots were, she said : “One of my favourite places is Nidri on the Greek island of Lefkas – I think I have visited it 15 times.

“I also love the vibrant city of Barcelona for a short break.”

From left: Jackie Griffin, Sue Mulligan, Sandra McAllister and Karen Mason