Retiring employee 'gobsmacked' by his surprise leaving party
More than 40 people converged on a car dealership in Haverhill to bid a happy retirement to its longest-serving member of staff.
On Wednesday, September 26 colleagues current and past and family members turned up for the surprise party for John Webster at Drive Vauxhall on Duddery Hill.
Among the guests were the man who first took on John, 25 years ago, and the retiree's wife Sylvia, their son Matthew and his wife, who came from Leighton Buzzard, a nephew, two nieces and a great niece.
John, aged 78, of Ash Grove, Haverhill, began on the site when it was occupied by Keith Brown Vauxhall and has remained as it changed ownership twice, firstly to the Arriva Group and then, 14-years ago, Drive.
He has had a number of jobs during his time at Drive, but in the last few years has been a driver, travelling all over the country delivering and collecting vehicles. Two years ago he went down to working four days a week.
"It (the party) was a total surprise. I was absolutely gobsmacked," said John. "Now the plan is to to do odd days driving when they want me. I'm not giving up completely. Just a couple of days a week. I think you need to work your way into retirement."
He received a cheque from Drive and a weekend away with Sylvia at a hotel in York.