We’re sad to say that our game collector, John Smith is hanging up his boots for good after half a century of loyal service to Soanes.
John Smith joined T.Soanes & Son as a 15-year-old boy in 1966 when it was still Church Hill Farm, a 60-acre arable farm.
He started working life on the farm doing odd jobs and eventually became a game collector, a role which he held for the last 20 years. He also worked closely with our founder, Clive Soanes.
Despite retiring from his full-time role last month, John still pops down to the factory occasionally .
“I used to go round to Church Hill farm, which was next door to our house, because my brother worked there.
“Then I ended up in the fields, bringing in chickens, milking the cows or doing any other jobs that needed doing. They used to have sheep and cows but then they specialised and got rid of the animals apart from the chickens.”
Over 20 staff members including company director Andrew Soanes, general manager Nigel Upson and Margaret Soanes helped John celebrate at his retirement party held in the village pub, The Robin Hood Inn.
John was presented with a retirement cake made by friend Cheryl Barr, who runs a snack bar located at the nearby Bainton layby.
Andrew Soanes said they couldn’t have asked for a more loyal and dedicated worker than John.
“We will miss him but we know that he will always come back to give his help because he likes to keep busy.”
John now intends to devote more time to tending his garden and playing bowls and dominoes and will also be helping out Margaret Soanes with gardening and odd jobs.