Fifty farming years
PUBLISHED: 09:44 06 January 2006 | UPDATED: 11:27 04 May 2010
A LITTLEPORT man retired last month after working at a farm in the town for 50 years. Carol Johnson, who celebrated his 65th birthday on Christmas Eve – hence the name Carol – went to Butcher s Hill Farm on Wisbech Road, Littleport, in January 1956 to loo
A LITTLEPORT man retired last month after working at a farm in the town for 50 years.
Carol Johnson, who celebrated his 65th birthday on Christmas Eve - hence the name Carol - went to Butcher's Hill Farm on Wisbech Road, Littleport, in January 1956 to look for work, aged just 15.
"I came up one morning to see the foreman here and he said you can start after lunch," he said.
He actually started the next day and continued to work at the farm for the next 50 years, starting first as a chaff-minder before he worked his way up to become a foreman himself.
He now lives at the farm.
Mr Johnson, who was a tractor driver for most of his time at the farm, said the most significant change in his working life has been the introduction of new technology.
"Obviously a lot of the harder work's been taken out of it, with the machines," he said.
At 17, Mr Johnson graduated to a man's wage, but not before he had proven himself by carrying an 18-stone coomb of corn up a ladder and onto a trailer.
He said he has stayed at the same farm for so long simply because he has been happy there.
"I have enjoyed it - otherwise I wouldn't have stayed there so long, he said."
Mr Johnson, who has been married to his wife Claudette for 38 years, said he hoped to continue working at the farm for two or three days a week.
"I don't want to retire completely," he said. "The work will keep me out of mischief."
Photo: HELEN SOUTH