31 May 2016

MJ Abbott's David Whatley retires after 43 years of service

MJ Abbott's longest serving employee, David Whatley, retired on Friday after 43 years and 7 months service with the company, which marked the occasion with a special party for David attended by current and former employees.

MJ Abbott's David Whatley retires after 43 years of service

David Whatley cuts the cake at his retirement party

David joined Michael Abbott's agricultural contracting business in October 1972 from his previous job as a tyre fitter with ATS in Salisbury.

Over the years David has turned his hand to many roles, adapting as required as the business developed and grew. In the early days he worked exclusively in the agricultural contracting arm of the business, driving tractors, combine harvesters and silage making machinery.

In the 1990s the opportunity arose to become MJ Abbott's low loader driver with the acquisition of its first low loader, and David duly undertook his HGV training and test and took on the role like a duck to water, hauling MJ Abbott's drainage and construction equipment from job to job for many years.

In more recent times David has performed a valuable role maintaining newly constructed and renovated sports fields during the growing in period, and as the principal driver delivering goods for the MJ Abbott Direct business.

Speaking when presenting David with a retirement gift, MJ Abbott's Managing Director, Jonathan Abbott, said: "David joined the business when I was only 5 years old, so he has always been here - I am not sure anyone else is going to clock up 43 years with the business. We are of course going to miss him, but he has really earned a long and happy retirement and we wish him all the best for the future."

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