Yesterday (15 August) Williams Refrigeration held a ceremony to hand out its latest awards to its long-serving staff – two of whom were celebrating 30 years’ service.

The average length of tenure for employees at the Kings Lynn-based manufacturer is over 15 years.

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Adding up all the people who reach 15, 20 and 30 years’ landmarks gives a grand total of well over 1,000 years in total.

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Karen Redhead, who works in the finance team, is one of those who have been with the company for over three decades.

“My first day at Williams was on the 30 June 1986,” she said. “I was nervous but can remember everyone making me feel welcome. I can’t believe how the time has flown by!

“Many things have changed over the 30 years, from new products and technologies to new health and safety rules. Work colleagues change, too, of course, but this is a very friendly company and I still keep in touch with many who have left.

“I enjoy working for Williams and look forward to what the future brings.”

The other ‘30 year’ staff member receiving their award is Lee Cook. On his first week at Williams he was given the nickname ‘Wilf.’

“There was no apparent reason,” he says, “it was just for fun. But to this day my parents, family and friends all call me Wilf!

“One of the highlights of my time at Williams was getting the opportunity to help set up the US office, in 1996, when I spent 3 months living in New York.”

Staff will receive monetary vouchers of their choice depending on length of service plus champagne for those at 30 years.

Employees receiving the 20 year service awards were: John Hopgood, continuous improvement supervisor; Andrew Cade, plant 2 operative; Simon Moore, R&D team; and Tim P Smith, plant 1 operative.

Tim Smith, Williams’ MD, said: “I’d like to congratulate and thank all the long service staff for their amazing contribution.

“The length of time staff stay creates a real sense of family in the company – even more so since we actually do have members of the same families working here.

“This brilliant team spirit is created by the staff and it contributes directly to our success.”