Beccles man’s 50-year career tells a story of its own

Roger Moore has been working at William Clowes printing works for 50 years. PHOTO: Nick Butcher.

Roger Moore has been working at William Clowes printing works for 50 years. PHOTO: Nick Butcher. - Credit: Nick Butcher

As the nation was basking in the glory of our biggest victory in sporting history, one 16-year-old boy was starting a career that would span 50 years.

Roger Moore has been working at William Clowes printing works for 50 years, pictured with some of hi

Roger Moore has been working at William Clowes printing works for 50 years, pictured with some of his colleagues. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

On August 1, 1966, two days after England beat West Germany in the World Cup, Roger Moore began a new chapter of his life at CPI William Clowes printing works in Beccles.

And five decades later, at the age of 66, he has no plans to retire.

The father of two, who lives in the town, has spent the majority of his working life as a proof reader, preparing hundreds of manuscripts for publishing.

He said: 'I had some career advice and presentations from various industries and I happened to see the job. I applied for it, took the exam, passed and I was offered it.'


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Mr Moore undertook an apprenticeship and joined the team as a compositor, specialising in proof reading until 1999 when he transferred to the litho machine room as a machine minder, responsible for printing thousands of books.

'As compositors we did all sorts: Wisden's Cricket Almanack, Beatrix Potter books, bus timetables, information cards for the British Museum.

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'Most of it was in English, but we also had people who could read different languages.'

Over the years Mr Moore has experienced many changes including new management, upgraded equipment and a move from the site now occupied by Tesco in Beccles, to its current home at Copland Way, Ellough.

He was presented with a tankard by his colleagues yesterday on behalf of his union, the Unite Litho Branch.

Tim Smith, litho machine manager said: 'If there is a mistake, Roger will spot it. Roger is a model worker and I'd like to thank him for the past 50 years, because it's one hell of an achievement. He comes to work and does a good job and he's done that all his working life.'

Mr Moore thanked all his colleagues for their support, adding that it was the people who had made his career so enjoyable.

'We have a grumpy old man's club at the pub so I expect we will have a drink there to celebrate. I'm not retiring at the moment, but if I do I'll probably spend more time walking as that's my hobby – and of course reading books.'

Are you celebrating a special achievement? Email louisa.lay@archant.co.uk

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