A husband and wife team are retiring after 25 years of working together at a South Tyneside food firm.
Ellen and Graham Hunter, both 65, from Hebburn, have been working in the region’s food industry for nearly half a century and have spent the last 25 years with Dicksons.
It’s a sad day when you say goodbye to one member of staff and get ready to bid farewell to another who, together, have played such an important role in the success of our business for so long.Dicksons managing director, Michael Dickson
Ellen is leaving first, having trained a colleague to cover her desk. She was honoured at a ceremony at the family firm’s South Shields production facility.
Graham’s retirement plans have been put on hold until later this year to allow him to finish several projects aimed at readying the factory for further growth.
Ellen said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my years with Dicksons and it has been a pleasure coming to work everyday with such committed, loyal and caring colleagues.
“Graham and I have worked together throughout our professional careers in the industry and are now looking forward to our retirement together but in honesty, I’m excited by the prospect of the slight head start I’ll have while Graham finishes off what he has started in the factory.”
Ellen and Graham began their careers with the Hilkert family in the early 1970s and together ran the Morpeth factory for that family.
After Dicksons acquired the business in 1990, Ellen and Graham came as part of the package, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise in food production.
Dicksons managing director, Michael Dickson, said: “It’s a sad day when you say goodbye to one member of staff and get ready to bid farewell to another who, together, have played such an important role in the success of our business for so long.
“We will greatly miss the ever-optimistic and hard-working Ellen whose sunny disposition and kindness made her great to have around – but as a small consolation to her leaving, we’re hanging on to Graham for just a little while longer so he can see through the current factory projects in a way only he knows how.”