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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Tuesday, 29 June 2010 15:01 UK
Royal Norfolk Show to honour long-standing farm workers
Cath Saunt
BBC Norfolk

Colin Turner with his Renault Tractor

Farm workers with almost 600 years continuous service between them are being honoured with awards at the Royal Norfolk Show 2010.

They include two herdsmen, a tractor driver and a farm secretary - the other nine are general farm workers.

All of them have spent between 40 and 50 years working continuously at the same farm or for the same employer.

The president of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, Sir Jeremy Bagge, will present the awards.

Family vocation

Colin Turner has worked for WG Watts Ltd at Rookery Farm, Runham, for 45 years since he left school aged 15.

The land is rich and fertile and is situated on the marshes between Acle and Great Yarmouth.

Mr Turner's father ran a drag line excavator and dredged the complex system of waterways and dykes in the area.

As a child, Mr Turner remembers picking potatoes with his mother and it seemed natural for him to carry on working on the farm when he left school in 1965.

When he joined there were a dozen men working on the arable farm growing a wide variety of crops including sugar beet, peas, beans and cereals and some of the work was done by hand.

Mr Turner said: "You were a good man if you knew how to use a pitchfork and a hoe."

But now Mr Turner is the only tractor driver working for the Watts family who own the farm and he said it could be quite lonely at times.

His employer, Mr William Watts, paid tribute to him: "We've known each other for a long, long time and I couldn't have had a more loyal and hard-working person than Colin."


Cow at the Royal Norfolk Show 2009

Another worker being honoured is David Naylor, 64, of Carleton St Peter, who has worked for 49 years for R R Basey-Fisher and Son.

Mr Naylor works as a herdsman following in the footsteps of his father.

When he first started, the farm had 76 cows which were milked five times a day.

Now he can milk 180 Holstein Friesians in an automated milking parlour in two and a half hours.

"I've enjoyed every bit but I must say the job goes with the person you're working for and they've treated me well," said Mr Naylor.

The other Long Service award winners are: T Williamson (Pockthorpe), Robert Smith (Freethorpe), Ronald Batley (Scole), Rodney Williamson (Banham), Winston Finch (Tunstead), Barry Pratt (Tunstead), Percy Parker (Mileham), Peter Turrell (Mileham), Grace Howlett (West Barsham), Christopher Revell (Hempnall).


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