Farm worker who started at 15 and is still as dedicated 60 years on is honoured by Suffolk Show

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents the Long Service Awards.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents the Long Service Awards.

Some of the county’s longest-serving agricultural workers were given special recognition at the Suffolk Show yesterday – including one who has been working on the same farm for 60 years.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents Peggy Cole MBE with her Long Service Award.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents Peggy Cole MBE with her Long Service Award.

They were all given long-service awards by Suffolk Agricultural Association president Terry Hunt at the showground.

A husband and wife from west Suffolk were both honoured – as was the voice of rural Suffolk in the EADT for many decades.

John Want was a 15-year-old straight out of school when he started working at Rose Farm, Spexhall, near Halesworth back in 1955. He is still working on the farm today – and was due to do some work when he returned home from the show yesterday afternoon.

His work on the farm remains more that what most people consider to be full time.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents John Want with his Long Service Award.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents John Want with his Long Service Award.

“I work seven days a week. If there’s a job that needs to be done, I do it. Retire? That’s what you do at night when you go to bed. I shall be carrying on,” he said.

Had he enjoyed his working life on the farm? “I just see it as the work that needs to be done, there’s always something to do.”

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Mr Want does all kinds of farm work, including tractor-driving, operating combine harvesters and general farm work that changes with the seasons. He was one of 18 farm workers given special recognition yesterday, along with seven others who were given special awards for outstanding services to agriculture in the county.

Melvyn and Wendy Cooper were given awards for working for Rushbrooke Farms near Bury St Edmunds for 52 and 50 years respectively.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents Roger Goldsmith with his Long Service Award.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents Roger Goldsmith with his Long Service Award.

Mr Cooper works on the farm while his wife works in the farm office and was described as the “person who makes the farm work” as she received her award.

One of the most popular award-winners was EADT columnist Peggy Cole whose writing about rural life in the county has been a popular feature of the paper for many years.

She said she was thrilled by the recognition.

“This has been a wonderful surprise when I was offered this. I Love Suffolk and it’s wonderful that people feel they know more about the county from what I have done.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents Michael Garnham with his Long Service Award.

2015 Suffolk Show president Terry Hunt presents Michael Garnham with his Long Service Award.

“I love the Suffolk Show but I haven’t been well and I haven’t been able to come for a few years, but it is lovely to be back again.”

She was in a wheelchair that was pushed by one of her grandchildren.

Another award went to former Suffolk Agricultural Association chief Executive Chris Bushby who stepped down last year after 20 years of organising the event. Other awards went to those involved in other businesses including grain trading, and those running farmers’ groups which help to ensure the industry gets the best possible deals in business negotiations.