Spalding firm Elsoms Seeds lost one of its most successful Saturday boys on Friday as Mick Taylor bowed out.
Mick (64) has notched up 50 years’ service with the company since he joined its former shop in Spalding’s Double Street in the building now occupied by Prezzo.
Our customers recognise great service and Mick has been the guy to make sure that he’s given our customers that great service. He really has helped put Elsoms on the map.Elsoms boss Robin Wood
He was just 14 when he started and had to wait until his birthday in August before he could go full-time.
Mick has only once tried to leave Elsoms, back in the 70s, and did that solely because he thought he would never be promoted by the Pinchbeck Road firm.
“I wasn’t successful and I am glad I wasn’t because six months down the line the company I had applied to join went into liquidation,” he said.
Mick was wrong about his promotion prospects as Elsoms made him warehouse manager in 1984.
“I knew the trade inside out,” he says.
On Friday Mick’s colleagues and bosses joined him for a meal and presentations of gifts, including a lawnmower and a Canon DSLR camera as he aims to pursue photography as a hobby.
Managing director Robin Wood had some stats to hand.
He said: “We think that Mick has shipped out of here 800 billion seeds and a quarter-of-a-million consignments – and over 95 per cent of those consignments have reached their target, right place, right time.
“What Mick has done for us has been a great achievement. Our customers recognise great service and Mick has been the guy to make sure that he’s given our customers that great service. He really has helped put Elsoms on the map.”
Mick was born at Holbeach Hospital but lived in Spalding in a house near the sugar factory, now part of the power station site. He attended Pinchbeck Primary, Westlode Street junior school and Gleed before following in the footsteps of his elder sister by joining Elsoms.
He was essentially an errand boy, made deliveries on an old trade bike, and recalls his least favourite job as preparing wreaths by adding moss that was sometimes alive with beetles and ants.
Mick was joined at his retirement party by his wife, Iris.
They intend buying a touring caravan to go on holiday with their two dogs and spending more time with their grandchildren. Iris has five children and Mick has one and, between them, they have seven grandchildren.