Four members of our staff have reached 105 years of service combined.
Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson, has achieved 35 years with us, alongside assistant retail manager, Paul Lamb for as many years, as well as Adrian Price who has been with us since 1993, with a total service of 25 years, and Gary Sutton, our accounts manager, who has been with us for ten years.
To celebrate their long service, each staff member has received a certificate and vouchers to the value of £350 for 35 years, £250 for 25 years and £100 for ten years.
We asked them some questions about their time at Johnsons, see what they had to say below:
Paul Lamb, Retail Assistant Manager – 35 years’ service
1. How did your career at Johnsons start?
25th May 1983, I left school then the next day I had a job interview at Johnsons of Whixley before starting on a trial basis with the company on 1st June of the same year. I was then offered a job on 15th June during a time when there were nearly three million unemployed, so I was happy to be in work.
2. Was this your first job?
I was supposed to start on the tree unit (Newlands - that’s when it was full of trees) but John came into the canteen on my first day and said they were short staffed at Whixley propagation unit. So, I went up there to help out for a couple of weeks… and I’m still there eight years later!
My first job was knocking out rooted cuttings at Whixley in tunnels on a very wet day with a fella called Iain Richardson. Not sure what became of him?!
3. Does it feel like you’ve been here 35 years?
It’s a bit strange really as I don’t feel 35-years older, but the numbers don’t lie. It really does only seem like 10 or 15 years ago since I started and I feel very proud to have worked at JOW for so long. I’m even more proud of the fact that they still want me after 35 years.
4. What has changed most at Johnsons in the last 35 years?
Just about everything… Spades in particular! How many of those do you see on the nursery now? There was a time when everybody had their own and, woe betide, if you picked up the wrong one. So many aspects of the business have changed over the years, from the way we produce to the way we despatch. But the end goal has never changed.
5. What have you enjoyed most about your time at Johnsons?
This one is easy. It’s when I have spent a lot of years at Johnsons working outside and being involved in producing something which is an environmental benefit to us all, this is a pleasure in itself. But my biggest enjoyment over the years has been the people I’ve worked with.
I have been lucky enough to work on some units for the past 35 years and the people and characters you meet along the way have given, and are still giving me, some great memories.
6.What’s your proudest career and personal achievement?
Having had seven different roles at Johnsons so far! This has given me lots of great opportunities over the years to implement changes and to see the benefit they have made.
To be still here 35 years on is excellent too. Nobody starts a job thinking, “I’ll be here in 35 years time,” but I am, and I still want to be. Johnsons is a family business and it is great to be still involved in its future.
Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director – 35 years’ service
1. How does it feel to have reached 35 years at Johnsons?
Saying it sounds longer than it feels!
2. Was this your first career?
Yes, from school to one year of work experience on a nursery near Skipton and then an official start at Johnsons.
3. What have you liked most about your 35 years in the company?
Working with family and colleagues who you consider friends, not just fellow employees.
4. What’s your proudest career and personal achievement?
Contributing to the success and security of the business. My personal achievement has to be my relationship with my kids.
5. And finally what do you hope for the future of the family business?
Continued security and success for those reliant on a living from Johnsons of Whixley.
Posted 7th Dec 11:53am
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