Haverhill man bowled over by 'wonderful' last day after 50 years with the same company
An 'incredible' and 'wonderful' send off was given to the longest ever serving member of staff at Karro Food near Haverhill, when he retired last week.
For his final day at the Little Wratting meat processing factory last Thursday Gordon Hammond was picked up from his Haverhill home by a stretch limo and taken to work, where he was given a guard of honour by the forklift truck drivers he had worked with for the past ten years.
He was then treated to a presentation in the canteen, where a massive buffet and a special cake had been laid out.
Gordon began work on the site as a 15-year-old, initially on the bacon slicing lines, on July 29, 1968 when it was owned by Sainsbury's and had remained there through its numerous ownership changes for 50 years - until last week.
The 65-year-old father of two, who has been married to Shirley since 1976, said: "I was 65 in April but I decided to do the extra three months just to get to the 50 years, just to say I've done it.
"I benefitted from it, definitely. I've seen a lot of people come and go from there and they've never had a send-off like I had that day last week.
"It was absolutely incredible. They couldn't have done enough for me. It was a wonderful atmosphere.
"I've been there for a lot of years.
"It seems a bit strange not going to work. I shall miss the people. I made a lot of friends there, my job sort of took me all round the factory, the whole site, so i had contact with a lot of people."
In his time at the factory Gordon also worked in the stores and in the sausage production area.