Long Service Award for Peter GibbsSince starting soon after his 16th birthday in 1990 Peter has worked in every department at the nursery and currently works in the sales office processing customer’s orders. Peter was presented with a season ticket to Banahm Zoo for his family at this years staff Christmas meal.
Do you remember your first day on the Nursery?
“I was quite apprehensive to start work. My first job was to knock the sand off Bergenias ready to plant into 9cm pots. We also had to load the peat onto the potting machine by hand. I also remember not being allowed near a hosepipe for weeks!”
What do you think has changed the most since you started working here?
“I can’t believe how much the business has evolved over the last 25 years. Every aspect of the business has been totally modernised. You don’t need anyone to shovel peat into the potting machine nowadays.”
What has been your best memory of your time at Howard Nurseries?
“I’ve worked with such a wide range of people and I must say I have had a laugh with all of them. I owe a lot to many of the staff members who have come and gone here. David and Nick, the founders of the nursery, gave me a chance when I first left school and came to work here, I owe a lot of my experience to them. I’m also very grateful to Brian who brought me to work before I was old enough to drive. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.”
I asked him if he could see himself there for another 25 years. “You have to consider job security these days,” he tells me. “I have a family to provide for but I couldn’t think of a better place to do it,” he said from his desk looking over the stock beds and surrounding fields.
As long as 25 years sounds, Peter is actually 13th on the list of longest serving employees at Howard Nurseries. The average length of time a staff member has spent here is 15 years. The director of the business, Christine Howard, tells me “we employ staff who enjoy working with plants and we provide them with a great environment and opportunity to develop themselves. I feel they are a real asset to our business and help us achieve such a high quality product”.