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Milestone celebrated by Ilkley-based Spooner Industries
A pioneering manufacturing firm celebrated its 80th birthday in style and marked some of its employees’ fine achievements.
Ilkley-based Spooner Industries is celebrating the milestone this month, and hosted an Olympic-themed party for all employees at the town’s new rugby clubhouse to celebrate the occasion.
The occasion was also used to recognise the achievements of many long-term employees at the company, which is one of the biggest employers in the town.
Spooner managing director, Mike Brook, said: “We couldn’t let 2012 pass us by without celebrating.
“Our 80th year in business, with several employees devoting 50 years of their lives to the company, shows how Spooner was, and still is, a great company to work for.
“Mr Spooner’s enthusiasm for innovation and dedication lives on.”
The company, originally called Spooner Dryer and Engineering Co, was established in 1932 by innovative engineer, William Wycliffe Spooner.
Initially producing industrial drying machines for the local textile industry, Spooner’s revolutionary air flotation technology – which he wisely patented – was soon also meeting the needs of the printing industry.
By the late 1940s, this was extended to the baking industry, and in 1956, the expanding company moved to the old brewery site in Railway Road.
Mr Spooner died in 1967, but worked well into his 80s and was known to many as the industrial Peter Pan.
The firm moved to new £4 million purpose-built premises nearby in 2007, and today it employs more than 150 people. It has agents and representatives in places around the world where process equipment is exported for use in various applications, such as the industrial manufacture of food, steel and paper.
At the anniversary party, presentations were made to five men who have worked more than 50 years for the company, and 20 more employees who have been there more than 25 years.
Each of the five was presented with a solid silver Olympic collector coin to mark their achievement, while the 20 25-year employees received commemorative Olympic coins.
Spooner marketing manager, Kate Baker, added: “As this was a year of achievement for us, it seemed appropriate to adopt an Olympic theme and present our own Olympic medals instead of the traditional gold watch.
“It’s been quite an Olympic year for us, with our director, Steve Newell, being given the honour of carrying the Olympic flame earlier this year.”