Arthur clocks up 60 years at West Yorkshire company - with no plans to retire yet

A Featherstone business held a surprise party for a long-serving employee who has clocked up an incredible 60 years' service.

14 March 2018......... Arthur Gawthorpe celebrates with colleagues 60 years working for Dakin Flathers blade manufacturers in Featherstone. Scott Merrylees

Arthur Gawthorpe, 76, started work at manufacturing company Dakin Flathers in 1958 as an apprentice when he was 16.

Since then, he has worked at the company for six decades as a shop floor engineer – and has no plans to retire anytime soon.

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Mr Gawthorpe said that during his time at the company, he had seen some significant changes.

He said: “It wasn’t called Dakin Flathers when I started. It was just called Flathers. After I left school, I started looking for job which was just how it was in those days. This one came up so I went for it.

“The company has just grown and grown. When I started, there was only about three or four of us, but now there’s about 50 members of staff. It’s expanding all the time.”

Having dedicated many years to the company, Mr Gawthorpe admitted that the surprise party held by the staff on Wednesday was unexpected.

He said: “The staff planned it and also held a speech. I’m not really a massive fan of surprises or speeches but this was nice.”

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with all the people who’ve worked here. I’ve seen many people come and go.”

Matthew Schofield, marketing manager at the company, praised Mr Gawthorpe for all his hard work and said that he never boasted about his acheivements.

He said: “Arthur is a very modest guy and doesn’t like being at the centre of attention.

“We signed a card and gave him a reward cheque for him to put towards a holiday. He has really helped the business to grow into what it is today.”