Suffolk

Suffolk Show: Farm workers' long service awards

Ivan Taylor
Image caption Ivan Taylor has been working full-time at the farm since leaving school at 15 years old

A group of farm workers who have over 1,000 years of service between them are to be recognised.

Princess Anne will present 29 men and women with Suffolk Agricultural Association long service awards on the first day of the Suffolk Show.

One of them, Ivan Taylor, 73, has worked on the same farm in Parham for more than 60 years.

He said: "I haven't regretted a day of working since I've been here. I've enjoyed it all the while."

HRH The Princess Royal is presenting the framed certificates on Wednesday.

Each of the recipients has worked for the same employer for at least 30 years, with three of them clocking up more than 60 years.

Faggots and muck

Mr Taylor, from Hacheston, started at PC Kindred & Son in Parham as a 12-year-old in 1950 when he started a Saturday job cutting faggots of sticks.

He went on to also work an hour every day after school - earning two shillings a week.

Full-time employment started in 1953 when almost all the work, including moving heavy bags of grain, was done manually.

"These sacks were massive and you had to take them to the loft for storing because everything had to go uphill so that it flowed downhill for grinding," he said.

"You mucked out the pigs using a fork and wheelbarrow, put it on a muck heap, and then on Saturday you loaded that muck on to a horse and tumble and took it up to the big muck heap."

Mr Taylor said his education came from the older workers on the farm.

"If you weren't right sure, you asked them again and they'd tell you again and show you.

"But if you didn't do as you was told, cor, you heard on it."

Image caption The Kindred farm sells 5,500 pigs a year from its breeding and fattening operation

Sub-freezing temperatures

Mr Taylor has seen the mechanisation of agriculture and changes in genetic and chemical technology.

Since 1999, his manager has been Alys Thompson from the Kindred family.

She said: "He is totally committed to the business.

"During the sub-freezing temperatures of this past winter when most people his age would have been happy to stay at home and keep warm, Ivan was out every morning helping to defrost the water pipes around the pigs.

"Even when he is not at work, he often drives around to check that everything is in order and the youngsters are doing the job properly."

BBC Suffolk is at stand 497 and will be broadcasting from the show throughout both days.

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