Brooke man leaves Norwich firm after 45 years

A worker has marked the end of his employment after spending over four decades with the same Norwich company.

Graham Dunthorne, 60, celebrated 45 years of work at a city printing firm last Tuesday, but on Friday he made his way there for the last time. And his colleagues at Gallpen Press gathered together to mark his long service with a special ceremony.

He was treated to dinner, presented with an iron bench and met by about 30 old colleagues as he bid farewell to the business.

Mr Dunthorne, 60, who lives with his wife Rae, with whom he has a step-daughter, said the ceremony was a 'bit of a surprise'.

He said: 'I knew there was going to be something, but I didn't know the press were going to be there. I'm a bit of a shy sort of a bloke really and don't like much fuss, but it was lovely – very emotional. It was wonderful really.'

During his time at the firm, Mr Dunthorne, of Brooke, has seen changes of location, company names and personnel during his time at the firm.

It all began when he joined his brother-in-law Selwyn at Norwich & East Anglian Bookbinding and Machine Ruling Co.

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He spent three summers there while he was at school before starting a five year apprenticeship, which included one day a week at Norwich Art School, in 1966. The company moved to Trowse a few years later and became East Anglian Printers. It was bought by Gallpen Press in the late 1980s and now operates at Starling Road, off Magdalen Road.

Mr Dunthorne worked his way through the ranks to become production manager, but ill health made him step down from that position. He continued in a variety of roles, including customer services, until he stepped down on Friday.

Mr Dunthorne said he is taking up painting and hopes to have his own exhibition, of pastel landscapes, in the next few years. He added: 'I need the time to get enough paintings done to get an exhibition up, that's my ambition.'

Jane Carter, sales and marketing manager at Gallpen Press, said: 'He has been very good. There has been tough times for manufacturing but to be here man and boy, you can't ask for more.'

Have you got an employee leaving after spending many years at your firm? Call Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email