Suffolk Show 2013: Farming stalwarts are honoured at Long Service Awards

Long service award recipients at the Suffolk Show 2013.

Long service award recipients at the Suffolk Show 2013. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of years of work on Suffolk farms was recognised in the 2013 long service awards.

The longest service – 60 years – was given to Derek Gowlett who has been working for Lords Fields Farms Ltd at Stoke by Clare in west Suffolk since 1953.

He was joined by seven others who had spent 50 years or more with the same employer, three who had spent 30 years or more – and three special awards were given to long-serving employees of businesses or services with a long association with farming in Suffolk.

Alan Smith, 71, has spent 57 years working for Kentwell Hall in his home town of Long Melford.

He continues to work as a tractor driver and general worker – dealing with the rare breeds that live in the popular tourist attraction.

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And he has no plans to put his feet up: “I don’t need to retire! You have got to do something and this keeps me busy.

“Of course it’s something I like to do – I’m happy to carry on working.”

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That was a common theme among those who collected long service certificates yesterday.

Brian Waters was recognised for working for V&R Waspe of Stowmarket for 50 years – and celebrates his 65th birthday in August.

That doesn’t mean he’ll be giving up work: “I’ll carry on as long as I can. I like my work and I want to be busy.

“I might take a few more days off when there isn’t as much to do, but when they need me I’ll be about.”

He never had any doubt about what he wanted to do with his life.

“When I was at school I’d go up to the farm after lessons and during the school holidays. When I left I asked them for a job, and they said ‘We’ll see what we can find’ and I’m still here.”

The three special awards went to agricultural engineer Andrew Barnes who works in the Halesworth area improving farmland – he said drainage work has never been as much in demand as it has over the last year!

EADT editor Terry Hunt was given an award to mark 34 years with the company – editing what was described as THE newspaper for Suffolk farmers.

And Professor Dave Muller, principal of Suffolk New College, was given an award to mark the college’s work in training future generations of farmers and farm workers.

The awards were presented by Show President Stephen Cobbald after a celebration lunch at the showground.

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