An agricultural worker with 69 years’ of service on the same farm estate was among those to be honoured for their long careers in agriculture at the Great Yorkshire Show.
Robert Gallon, of Thirsk, was one of ten men who had contributed a combined 467 years’ service to the industry and each of the group was presented with a commemorative tankard and a certificate by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society’s president John Stoddart-Scott.
Mr Gallon, 83, has been employed as a general agricultural worker by Thirsk Hall Farms and Estate Office since he left school aged 14, having moved to North Yorkshire from Gateshead as a war evacuee. His starting wage was 30 shillings a week and he was part of a 60-strong workforce on the estate.
It was an occupation he fell into.
“I didn’t want to be a farm labourer,” Mr Gallon said. “I wanted to be a cabinet maker but when I left school jobs were hard to find and a chap called Mr Parvin asked me if I would like a job. I said I would do it for three months and I’m still on the farm now. I do the gardening now but I’ve done a bit of everything.
“When I started I worked with the horses ploughing the fields. We used to plant an acre a day, a job that would now take 10 minutes.
“I’ve no regrets at all. It hasn’t been hard work. Work is whatever you make of it. Any work can be hard if you don’t like it and if you don’t like it you should do something else.”
Mr Gallon is now employed by John Bell at the estate and he added: “I feel like part of the family.”
Other long service award winners included John Garbutt, a foreman at Lodge Farm, Moorsholm for 52 years, and Patrick Dudderidge who has served for the same spell as a public announcer at Egton Show, Whitby.