Bernhard is a company that hangs on to its staff - so it was something of a land-mark to say goodbye to Rod Mayes, Works Director at the Haverhill factory last week.
Rod joined the company 48 years ago as an apprentice and worked his way up the ladder. He said, "This was the only engineering business in the town when I joined, and they took on a number of apprentices and gave them a good training.
We've been at the same factory building for all these years. Mr Atterton, of Atterton and Ellis (now owned by Bernhard), lived in the old house on the original site. We are just in the process of moving across to our new purpose-built site the other side of Haverhill - so it seemed to me to be a good time to take my retirement and hand over to someone else.
I love travelling and social history, so my wife and I would like to spend a bit more time doing that, and enjoying our children and grandchildren."
Rod will be sorely missed by everyone - and the staff at Haverhill and the Rugby office came together for a goodbye celebration last week.
The day began at the old factory - where the team gathered, perhaps for the last time - before the move to the new site is complete.
Company Chairman, Stephen Bernhard said, "The team wanted to come and say goodbye to Rod, and it seemed fitting to do that at the old factory. We wanted to keep the connection."
After lunch, and the presentation of a gold watch to Rod, Stephen made a speech of thanks and appreciation at the new factory.
"Rod has been part of the company's history. He is not only a loyal and committed colleague, but a good friend, and we will all miss him greatly."
Rod thanked everyone for coming, and spoke of his attachment with the company and all the staff. It is hard to imagine life without Bernhard's."