It’s a family affair as Kings Lynn manufacturer’s long-serving staff celebrate awards
The people who come to work for Williams in Kings Lynn tend to stay a long, long while. In fact, the average length of tenure is over 15 years. On August 15th the company held a ceremony to hand out its latest awards to its long-serving staff – two of whom were celebrating 30 years’ service!
In fact, 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!
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 30th June 1986,” she says. “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 three months living in New York.”
Williams Refrigeration was born in Kings Lynn in 1980 and has been a big success story for the town. The 234 people working for the company in Lynn only tell part of the story: worldwide the company employs 800 staff in 15 locations and its commercial refrigeration is sought after by top chefs around the globe.
Along with the glory, staff will receive monetary vouchers of their choice depending on length of service plus champagne for those at 30 years. “I don’t know as yet what I will be spending the money on, but I know the champers will go down a treat!” says Karen.
Staff receiving the longer service awards were:
20 Year Award
John Hopgood Continuous improvement supervisor
Andrew Cade Plant 2 operative
Simon Moore R&D team
Tim P Smith Plant 1 operative
30 Year Award
Lee Cook Plant 1 team leader
Karen Redhead Purchase ledger assistant, accounts department
“I’d like to congratulate and thank all the long service staff for their amazing contribution,” says Tim Smith, managing director. “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 – daughters, sons, fathers, mothers, cousins! This brilliant team spirit is created by the staff and it contributes directly to our success.”