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Thursday, 24 July 2014

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Job was key to happiness for Cockermouth man

A Cockermouth locksmith is celebrating working 50 years at the town’s JB Banks and Son ironmongers.

Ken Day, 65, of Cocker Lane, started working at the business on Market Place on April 24, 1964, aged 15, straight out of the former Derwent School.

He was interviewed by then owner Wilfred Jackson, grandfather of current owner Vanessa Graham, and became an apprentice locksmith.

Ken now carries out a number of duties, including general maintenance and repair work of garden machinery, garden tools and antiques.

To mark his 50 years of service, Ken went on holiday to Tenerife with his wife Margaret.

Staff also bought him a painting of Loweswater by artist Rolf Parker and will take him out for a meal next month.

Ken said: “I used to love coming into the shop as a kid. I used to buy elastic to make catapults.

“Working here has been one big happy memory. I am still really enjoying it and I care a lot about the shop. I have made a lot of good friends.

Vanessa said: “He is a valuable member of staff. If Ken says something won’t work, I agree with him. He has got a great sense of humour.”

She said he was instrumental in helping to restore the shop after the 2009 floods.

Ken isn’t the only employee to have dedicated many years of service.

Carole Carr will have been there 30 years this August, while Jenny Bush has been there 12 years and Vanessa 29 years.

Vanessa said: “It’s nice to have a happy group who work well together.”

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