Birmingham waves off colleague who joined on his 15th birthday.
Staff at the Birmingham Assay Office have bid farewell to long-time colleague Ron Hodgetts who recently completed 50 years of service, combining his retirement party with his birthday celebrations.
Hodgetts joined the Assay office on his 15th birthday in 1961 and became a key part of the team, as he cycled around the Jewellery Quarter collecting and delivering parcels of work for hallmarking.
During this time he learnt how to hallmark, being trained on the various presses used at the time. As his career developed Hodgetts progressed from a bicycle to a Robin Reliant, and he simultaneously went on to learn the skills and confidence required to hand mark, working under Harry Butler, who himself left the Assay Office at the age of 86.
He later became a dab hand at laser hallmarking thanks to an interest in all things technical, after the process was introduced in 1997.
Speaking at one of several events to mark Hodgetts’ retirement, Birmingham Assay Office chairman Kay Alexander said: “It says something about a company when they have employees with 50 years of service.
“I am very grateful that we have so many people with such strong commitment to the business, who work extremely hard, especially when times are tough. Ron’s dedication and loyalty over 50 years has been fantastic. We will all miss him”.
Not only did Hodgetts receive a tea-party send off, complete with bunting and a special celebration cake made featuring a Robin Reliant, he was also given an engraved gold watch and applauded by a line of staff as he left the building for the last time.