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Reunion spans 40 years of Ipswich firm

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:57 03 March 2010

ELECTRICIANS and colleagues spanning 40 years of an Ipswich firm's history, have gathered for a reunion.

The reunion was a get-together for employees of William Steward and Co Ltd from 1962 to 1970, but many staff who attended, still work for the firm in its new guise today.

ELECTRICIANS and colleagues spanning 40 years of an Ipswich firm's history, have gathered for a reunion.

The reunion was a get-together for employees of William Steward and Co Ltd from 1962 to 1970, but many staff who attended, still work for the firm in its new guise today.

One notable guest was former Ipswich mayor Don Edwards, on his final engagement as deputy mayor, who worked for William Steward as an electrician in 1963.

Dozens more attended the event, organised by former commercial manager Rex Young at St Clement's Sports and Social Club last night .

The company, which started in Ipswich in 1962, completed projects including the Willis Corroon building, Ipswich Police Station, the Corn Exchange, Ransomes Sims and Jefferies at Nacton, and Suffolk Police headquarters at Martlesham.

Based off Prince's Street, the firm was taken over by global conglomerate ABB in 1995.

A new project currently underway is the future TXU building, and refurbishment of BT premises at Martlesham.

Former managing director Michael Stewart, nephew of William Stewart who founded the firm in London in 1932, enjoyed meeting up with old friends.

Dick Plummer worked his way up from apprentice in 1965, to general manager for the eastern region today, with the exception of a five-year gap.

He said: "Everybody has come back which is a mark of what the company was, and has been.

"There are about ten people here who are current employees, and some of them have been with the company for 40 years.

"The firm has always been a good employer and we gelled together as a team."

The first ever employee, Keith Newman, 66, of Glamorgan Road, Ipswich, said: "It's wonderful to see everybody again."

He was the first to start at the new Ipswich office in 1962, and consequently the first to receive a gold watch embossed with the Steward's emblem to mark his long service.

He added: "The company was very small when we started, then we got the workshop prepared and the work zoomed from there."


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