A MUCH-LOVED employee has retired after 50 years at a Tiptree jam factory, but she isn’t going too far.
Mary Beal joined Wilkin & Sons in November 1970 and worked until the day she retired just before Christmas.
For more than 50 years she worked in the Crate Room, where all the fruit is checked and prepared before being made into the famous Tiptree jam and marmalade.
Now Mary lives opposite the factory so she can wave to the friends she has worked with for so long.
Joint managing director Chris Newenham said: “We will all miss her enthusiasm and sunny disposition – she was very much part of the furniture.”
Mary was presented with gifts and a special cake made by Tiptree Patisserie, in Witham, which she cut in front of her bubble of colleagues to celebrate.
Chairman Walter Scott recalled a time when Mary and some of her colleagues made a social fact-finding trip to Holland to see the preserves they helped to make. He told her: “We are all the richer for having known you – thank you for being ‘Mary’.”