Wiltshire

Trowbridge man retires aged 90 after 60 years at one firm

Dennis Gerrish, (left) with Apetito chief executive Paul Freeston Image copyright Other
Image caption Dennis Gerrish, who retired at the age of 90, says he "can't sit still"

A Wiltshire man has finally retired aged 90, after 60 years' service with one firm.

Dennis Gerrish still cycled to work at Trowbridge-based Apetito every day.

The nonagenarian's career began in the 1950s when he joined the firm as a mechanic in the motor department at the old Waldens Farm Foods.

After retiring in 1989, he returned as a groundsman and carried on working for the company after it was taken over by German firm Apetito in 1996.

Mr Gerrish's dedication was recognised with the unsung hero award at the company's annual ceremony.

He was unable to make the event, so he was presented with his award at a surprise lunch last week, with wife Betty, son Simon and daughter Jo attending.

'An inspiration'

"It's been wonderful to work here and times have changed a great deal since I started on the site," said Mr Gerrish, who celebrated his birthday on Christmas Eve.

"I've made lots of good friends who I will miss enormously."

Mr Gerrish said he planned to do "a bit of gardening" over the Christmas period.

"I can't sit still, that's the trouble," he said.

Apetito chief executive Paul Freeston said: "It's a great privilege to have hosted this well-deserved celebration for Dennis in recognition of his loyalty, hard work and commitment over the years.

"Sixty years in employment is an inspiration to us all.

"When Dennis started at Canal Road in 1954, Winston Churchill was prime minister, rationing was still in place and Queen Elizabeth II had been on the throne for just two years.

"The changes he has witnessed both in society and in the workplace have been truly amazing.

"Dennis is an amazing guy - we will miss him a great deal. And, of course, we hope he will come back regularly to check we're keeping the grounds up to standard."

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