Grandmother clocks up 50 years at Sheffield bakery to become longest-serving member of staff
At the age of 15, Christine Warren began her first shift at Fletchers Bakery in Sheffield – and 50 years on, she has become the firm’s longest-serving member of staff.
But the 65-year-old grandmother of six, who lives in Parson Cross, said her five-decade anniversary would only spur her on to keep going.
“I’ve still got plenty of energy left,” Christine said. “Even when I’m at home, I’m doing things. And I never get bored with my job because there’s just too much going on!”
When she first arrived at Fletchers in 1969, her duties were confined to greasing tins, but Christine is now an area co-ordinator for Fletchers, which is based on Claywheels Lane, Wadsley Bridge.
“Working here is great, we make sure everybody is alright,” she said. “We need to have values like honesty – if you don’t have that between you and your workmates then you might as well just give up.
“I’d like to think that if anyone comes to me with a problem, I could sort that problem out and we work together on that.”
Christine works a nine-hour shift from 6pm, overseeing products as they roll off the production line. The highly automated bakery makes hundreds of millions of buns and rolls every year, and is a leading producer of American muffins for the UK market.
“I go to the top deck where the muffins are coming out,” said Christine. “I need to know they look good.”
To reward Christine for her dedication and loyalty, Fletchers gave her an unconventional gift – a full makeover for her garden, complete with decking and artificial grass.
Business director Jon Cooper said: “Christine has stayed with us for ages. I hope she enjoys it very much, and I think it represents just how many good things that she has done for us.”
Long-serving employees normally get shopping vouchers and a medal rather than a garden renovation.
“I was truly shocked,” said Christine. “I thought I wouldn’t get anything like that. I thought they would give me a Meadowhall voucher and that’s it. Some who serve 30 years would get £400.”
Fletchers has been in existence since 1895 and is now part of Finsbury Food Group.
HR advisor Hayley Potts said Christine was a prime example of how people can progress with the firm.
“She started with greasing tins and now she is an area co-ordinator, part of the management team – and the people in the management team know exactly what is going on the floor because they used to work there,” Hayley said.