50-Year Work Anniversary Celebrations

03 Sep 2019

Production Control & Planning Manager, Jean Potts celebrated 50 years working in Brunton Shaw on Sunday 28th July.

This is an incredible achievement for Jean and of course we felt this was something special to be celebrated!

Jean started her journey on 28th July 1969 at the age of 15 years old as a Production Control Junior. At this point there were only 2 other members of staff within the Production Control department, the Production Controller and Production Control Assistant. Eager to add to her skills set, Jean attended night classes at the local college for typing, passing the RSA 2 exam as it was then and undertaking a course on Comptometer Operating. 

   Jean and Shop floor team 2

Continuing to develop her skills, Jean helped with all aspects in the department with everything being done manually and on paper. When the Production Control Assistant left, Jean stepped up and embraced her new position. After Shaw’s merged with Brunton’s in 1978, Jean was made Production Controller in 1980.

Over the years Jean has worked alongside many people, including 3 of her Uncle’s – 1 in the Dispatch Department who was the first-person Jean saw when she walked into the factory for her first interview. 1 in the Joinery Department who made the wooden reels and the other in the Rigging Department all of whom retired from Shaw’s. Jean’s brother and his wife also worked within the factory for a short time. While working in the factory, Jean also met one special person, her husband of 34 years, Fred. During her time in Brunton Shaw, Jean said she had met many nice people and regularly lunches with 2 ladies who worked in the office when Jean started. Between them they have 130 years’ service with Shaw’s.

When asked what the highlights of her 50-year career have been, Jean’s response was “having a PC for the first time in 1999 was a very big highlight and made working life so much easier, also the planning system introduced in 2000. The biggest highlight though has to be the transformation of the site with the new OCEANMAX building and new machinery. This was really exciting from the contractors arriving on site, to the completion of the building and the first time I saw the new SKET turning.  Especially in September 2015 when the first large diameter rope over 300T left the factory on a late Saturday night with a number of us stood on the road watching it leave. I have felt enormous pride showing previous colleagues the new machinery and buildings.”