Can engineer retires after 44 years
PUBLISHED: 11:58 03 May 2007 | UPDATED: 20:01 01 June 2010
Story by MAGGIE GIBSON PAUL Bennett s 44-year career at a Wisbech factory is in the can -- and he is looking forward to retirement. As a 15-year-old he was one of three Queen s Boys School pupils to be in the envied position of being offered an indenture
Story by MAGGIE GIBSON
PAUL Bennett's 44-year career at a Wisbech factory is in the can -- and he is looking forward to retirement.
As a 15-year-old he was one of three Queen's Boys' School pupils to be in the envied position of being offered an indentured apprenticeship with Metal Box.
He has retired as audit manager with Crown Food UK & Ireland having being presented with a 'This is Your Life' book full of happy memories.
Paul, of Turnpike Close, Wisbech, started at Metal Box on January 7 1963. His apprenticeship in can engineering finished when he was 21.
"Metal Box had sites all over this country and the world," he said. "There were a dozen sites in the UK."
Metal Box was the town's biggest employer, with more than 1,100 employees and Paul earned £2.10s a week for his efforts.
In 1968 he became a canline engineer and worked his way to becoming quality supervisor in 1975. There were 120 employed in quality - now there are 45. By 1993 he was audit manager.
"The biggest change has been in automation and reduction of labour," he explained. "The Wisbech works used to be totally self sufficient but now only assembles the cans."
Metal Box became Carnaud Metal Box and then Crown Food UK & Ireland.
Colleagues held a farewell dinner for Paul at Elme Hall Hotel. He intends spending his retirement gift from them on angling equipment.
A gift from the company will be spent on buying a video camera which he will use on trip to New Zealand with wife Trudy, planned for next year.
A keen bowler, Paul is secretary of the work's bowls club and of the North Cambs Bowling Association.