Jim's 50 year career at an end

AFTER a career that began in the same year as Elvis released his first single a Hadleigh store manager has finally left the building.Jim Hill has cycled to work for the last time in half a century from his home in High Lands Road, Hadleigh.

AFTER a career that began in the same year as Elvis released his first single a Hadleigh store manager has finally left the building.

Jim Hill has cycled to work for the last time in half a century from his home in High Lands Road, Hadleigh.

As it was also his 65th birthday, he found his cluttered office decorated with balloons and posters for his double celebration.

And Jim Hill's attitude during his career at Partridges hardware store reflects the title of that Elvis's debut single - That's All Right.

He said: "If you can keep things running smoothly in the shop then that's half the battle.

"I might even have a clear desk for the first time today."

Most Read

Colleagues had clubbed together to buy Mr Hill a new mountain bike for his big day on Tuesday and had made him gift that he would treasure – a model of himself made from some of the thousands of nuts and bolts in stock.

Mr Hill said: "I think its smashing and shows that there is still some skill in the workshop.

"My fondest memories will be working with my colleagues over the years.

"Most of the them stay here a long time and I am not the first to complete 50 years.

"Experienced people give good customer service so people get exactly what they want, rather than what they think they want. If they haven't got the experience they are not able to help people properly.

"I am still learning new things every day."

Mr Hill was cagey about admitting he would miss the store.

He said: "Obviously I enjoyed my time here or I wouldn't have stayed so long. "But everyone has their grumbles, so maybe I didn't show it sometimes.

"My colleagues tell me I shall miss it, but I have other things to worry about."

He is now looking forward to fishing, walking in the countryside and doing all those jobs that never seem to get done - like cleaning out his shed.

One of the most unusual tales he has to tell throughout the decades was when the Government had just introduced VAT in 1973.

A woman came in and refused to pay the tax as she was angry at the Pope and thought the money was to be paid to the Vatican.

Colleague Linda Nichols, 51, of Clopton Gardens, Hadleigh, said: "It has been a pleasure to work with him and the staff will miss him when he goes. He has a lot of knowledge and will be very difficult to replace."

Have you worked somewhere for more than 50 years? Write to us at Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

Fast Facts - Memorable events in 1954

Dr. Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run a mile in less than four minutes on May 6. His time is 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.

West Germany's football team win the World Cup.

William Golding's book The Lord of the Flies and J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings are published.

US Supreme Court rules against racial segregation in schools.

Vietnam wins independence from France and splits into the communist north and non-communist south.

Robert Borkenstein patents the breathalyser.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter