Dennis retires after 63 years of service at Pudsey's Hainsworth mill (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Long-serving employee works his last shift after a record six decades on weaving floor
The longest-serving employee at an historic textile mill has retired after 63 years of service.
When Dennis Allman started his job at Hainsworth in 1950, King George VI was on the throne and Prime Minister Clement Atlee was clinging on to power after a disastrous General Election.
“This was my first job and I didn’t want to go anywhere else,” said Mr Allman, 77, after being toasted by his co-workers in the mill. “I’ve been happy here.”
He added: ”I’ve loved working in the textile industry and I’m so proud that the fabrics I’ve helped to make have been sold all over the world. It’s quite humbling to know that something you’ve been involved in manufacturing has been worn by everyone from firefighters in Australia to the Queen’s Guards outside Buckingham Palace.”
Hainsworth’s managing director Tom Hainsworth presented Mr Allman with a card and a power drill on the weaving floor of the mill where he spent his working life.
Mr Hainsworth said: “I very much doubt that Dennis’ record of 63 years of service will be beaten.”
Mr Allman, who lives a couple of minutes’ walk from the Pudsey mill, was not the first in his family to work there.
He said: “My uncle Albert worked at Hainsworth as a piecer, responsible for leaning over the spinning-machine to repair the broken threads. His son worked at the mill for a while too as a beamer, and his job involved loading yarns onto the reels.
“I used to chat to my uncle about his job and he invited me to come with him to the weekly Hainsworth concert party where there was singing and entertainment for the workers. It was there that I met Charles Hainsworth who asked me if I had a proper job yet.
“I started in the weaving shed as an apprentice warp twister. The looms then were shuttle looms which flew across from one end to the other carrying the weft thread. The noise was incredible. Over the years, as the technology became more advanced, I worked on all types of automatic looms.”
When Mr Allman first started at the mill he earned ten shillings for a week’s work. He gave half to his mum towards his upkeep and spent a shilling on a pint of bitter.
He started at the mill on a five-year apprenticeship, but in 1953 when he was 18 he received his call-up papers for National Service and went into the Army.
“I travelled the world for three years with the Army but my mum made sure that when I was demobbed I had a job still back at the mill,” he said.
Mr Allman, who has two children and nine grandchildren, is now looking forward to retirement with his wife Molly, 74.