Sun, 11 Sept 2016
LAST week the Newbury Weekly News said its final farewell to ‘handyman’ Jerry Hill who retired after a remarkable 62 years with the company.
Whether it was being called upon to fix a leak, paint the walls or just have a chat, Jerry was never far away with his trademark shorts and shopping trolley full of tools.
Jerry started working full-time for the NWN on his 15th birthday on May 4, 1954, as a compositor – when the family-run paper was based in Northbrook Street.
At the age of 18, in 1960, on national service, he was deployed to Malaya, before returning to his job in Newbury as a compositor and later a linotype machine operator.
He retired from that full-time role in 2004, but has continued working part-time every Friday morning for the past 12 years, carrying out vital repair work in and around the offices.
However, last Friday, Jerry completed his final day at the age of 77 in order to spend more time with his family.
Reflecting on his long career, Mr Hill said: “I will miss the camaraderie. I’ve made some friends for life here and it’s strange to think I’ve worked my last day.
“I’ve really enjoyed it but, after 62 years, I decided the time had finally come.”
Mr Hill isn’t planning on taking it easy in his retirement though, and just this week he is helping his son to move house.
And, when not doing odd jobs around his or other people’s homes, Mr Hill can be found spending time restoring his old Morris Minor or at St Mary’s Stadium watching his beloved Southampton play.
NWN chairman, Jeremy Willis, said: “There are not many organisations that say goodbye to an employee after 62 years of working for the same company, but this week Jerry Hill retired for the second time.
“The first time was after a mere 50 years in the production department of the Newbury Weekly News and now again after 12 years acting as a handyman around the offices.
“Jerry has rebuilt many parts of our office furniture several times over. In fact he is part of the furniture, and he will be sorely missed.”