Dereham print worker retires after 48 years

Dick Kellingray is retiring after 48 years of working at LF Everett and Son printers in Dereham. He has worked there since 1965. Picture: Matthew Usher. Dick Kellingray is retiring after 48 years of working at LF Everett and Son printers in Dereham. He has worked there since 1965. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Saturday, December 21, 2013
6:53 AM

A print worker who has worked at a family-run business for nearly five decades is set to pack away his factory apron for the last time this Christmas.

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Dick Kellingray has worked at L F Everett and Son printers in Dereham since 1965.

He will retire next week after 48 years of continuous work as a press operator.

The married father-of-two, who grew up in Saham Toney, first started as a letterpress machine minder, producing high volumes of print for many of the manufacturing firms in Dereham.

Over the years, he has printed everything from basic stationery and brochures for Jentique Furniture to clock dials, guarantees and instructions for Metamec Clocks and a one-off large birthday card for the Queen Mother’s 90th in 1990.

Mr Kellingray, who lives in Sandy Lane, Dereham, has seen printing in the last 20 years develop and change dramatically, with print runs now generally smaller but bigger in variety.

He has always continued to adapt to new technology, looking after offset-litho presses which he has run up until his retirement.

The 64-year-old, who will turn 65 on Boxing Day, said: “There have been some unbelievable changes over the years. When I started, it was letterpress printing type and then we went to litho. That’s been getting obsolete because of computers.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. You don’t do just one job, there’s a variety and it keeps you busy. I will definitely miss it and I’ll miss the people.”

Mr Kellingray started at L F Everett, which was founded by Leslie Everett in 1936, when he was 16. He had left school at 15 and had worked at printing firms in Thetford and Swaffham before starting his five year apprenticeship with the company which is now based on Swaffham Road.

In the 1970s, it was not uncommon for orders from Metamec Clocks to exceed one million impressions from one order for clock guarantees and instructions.

Work developed and Mr Kellingray, amongst others in the printing firm, printed many thousands of clock dials almost each week.

The grandfather, whose wife Barbara works as a teaching assistant at Dereham Church Infant and Nursery School, said he had no plans for his retirement but will enjoy visiting his granddaughter Charlotte in Cambridgeshire and spending time in his garden in the spring.

To mark his retirement, staff at L F Everett took Mr and Mrs Kellingray for dinner at The George in Dereham and presented the couple, who enjoy travelling, with travel vouchers as a retirement gift.

Bob Everett, who now runs the company, said Mr Kellingray has worked for the firm for longer than both himself and his father.

He said: “He has been a very good bloke. Being a family-run business, we all know each other and we think of ourselves as family.

“Dick has turned out a lot over the years and it’s been good, quality work; he is very diligent and always with a good humour. It will be strange coming in after Christmas and he’ll be at home with his pipe and slippers.”

Do you know someone who is retiring after a long service? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk.

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