More than 400 years of farming loyalty honoured with long service awards at Royal Norfolk Show
PUBLISHED: 16:11 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:18 28 June 2018
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
More than 400 years of loyalty to Norfolk agriculture was honoured with awards to ten of the county’s longest-serving farm workers.
Royal Norfolk Show president Ben Turner, who made the presentations, said: “I felt extremely proud to be standing in front of all these men who have given their lives to agriculture. What is incredible is that most of them have spent this time on one farm, and it is tremendous to think of that loyalty.”
The “Super Award” for the longest service went to Alan Baker, 65, who is head tractor driver at CJC Lee at Saxthorpe, where he has worked for 51 years.
“It is very touching,” he said. “I couldn’t really explain it – it is once in a lifetime.
“I just started off as a farm worker and worked my way up.
“I never really thought about doing anything else. I just enjoy the seasons, and trying to do the best for every field. The more money the farmer makes, the more money he will spend on machinery.
“The biggest change I have seen is the modern technology on the new tractors – it is a job to keep up with it.
“But I have got a new tractor coming in August, so I am still learning new stuff.”
That new machine will be supplied by Norwich dealer Ben Burgess, where Mr Baker’s son Dean works as a service technician. He said: “It is great that he has been at the same place for so long. 51 years is a long time, so I still have a long way to go.”
Other long service awards winners were: Malcolm Whittred, 50 years at G W Harrold & Partners; Roy Blockwell, 44 years at Heygate Farms Swaffham; Michael Rayner, 41 years at E W Porter & Son; Robert Howlett, 41 years at Beeches Farming Company; Steven Howell, 40 years at Keith Farm Partnership; Andrew Hazell, 40 years at RW Key; Paul Hobbs, 40 years at Harrowden Turn Ltd; Stephen Hood, 30 years for the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association; and Howard Zelley, 29 years service to the Royal Norfolk Show.