When Banham’s William Speer began his working life at the age of 15 in August 1966 for C.H. Goymour and C.A. Goymour and Son Ltd, a pint of beer 9p and a house would set you back a little more than £2,000.
Fifty years on, while Mr Speer’s initial £20-a-week wage when he started as a 15-year-old property maintenance assistant would not go very far these days, one thing has stayed the same — his skills have been called upon by the company time and time again as he looks towards his retirement.
It is difficult to say goodbye to someone I have worked with most of my working lifeMartin Goymour
In the 1980s C.A. Goymour and Son Ltd merged with a number of the family owned residential property companies of the Goymour Group, which also owns the Norfolk Dinosaur Park, more popularly known as Dinosaur Adventure, in Lenwade.
Whilst William has mainly undertaken work over the 50 years in maintaining the residential property portfolio, his skills have also be called upon in the maintenance and decoration of buildings within both Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! formerly owned by Goymours but now under the auspices of the Zoological Society of East Anglia a registered charity set up in 2013.
Martin Goymour, managing director of Goymour Properties, said: “It is difficult to say goodbye to someone I have worked with most of my working life, being a family owned business we work with people, and whilst we all work for a living, those that we work alongside become part of your extended family, however after nearly 50 years I envy William’s opportunity to enjoy a quite different more leisurely phase of his life and know that opportunity will be put to the test”.
Despite 50 years of decorating, one of the first item on his lists of tasks following his retirement is to redecorate the family home — although he has his sights set on a number of holidays,including a planning Caribbean cruise.
He also has a number of new golf clubs to break in. A keen golfer, he has played across a variety of courses in Norfolk and Suffolk.
His departure marks the second member of staff who has retired this year following 50 years of service. Nick Bunning, 72, and from Oakley, called time on his career earlier this year following a 53-year stint with Goymour Properties.
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