End of an era at Fareham manufacturing firm Barnbrook Systems as Maggie hangs up her jacket after 36 years
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When Maggie Goulding first started work at Barnbrook Systems Ltd in June 1985, Ronald Reagan was American president, Manchester United were FA Cup winners and the Sinclair C5 had hit the road.
Now Maggie, 65, who lives in Titchfield with husband Graham, is set to retire having seen the manufacturing firm grow over the years in Fareham Park Road.
She said: ‘I can remember the exact day I started and I am going to be very sad to go.
‘I have been here for so long that the car knows which way to go without me driving it. I enjoy my job but it is the people I will really miss.
‘It is time to go though and I’m looking forward have a bit more time for myself and perhaps travel when restrictions allow.’
Maggie, who assembles relays and trains staff, added: ‘The managing director Tony Barnett is a good employer and I have certainly seen the business grow over the years.
‘I must have worked with more than 100 people and we have had a lot of fun over the years.’
Maggie was among a group of close-knit employees at Barnbrook dubbed ‘the most loyal workforce in the country’ with 285 years’ service between them in 2019.
Barnbrook continues to expand and invest in staff. Joel Hedges, aged 33, wasn’t even born when Maggie started at the company.
Graduate electronics engineer Joel is studying part-time for a MA in accounting and finance at Portsmouth University, thanks to Barnbrook Systems.
Joel, of Portsmouth, said: ‘I am finding the MA very interesting and am grateful for the chance to take the course.’
Tony Barnett, managing director, said: ‘We are fortunate to have a such loyal workforce.
‘The knowledge that we have longevity and zero debt gives them the confidence to stay and commit themselves.
‘As a conscientious employer we are committed to the professional development of our people.’
Tony, who started the business in 1978, added: ‘It is good to see Joel forwarding his career but very sad to see Maggie go.
‘She has made a major contribution to the success of Barnbrook Systems over many years and will be much missed as a friend and colleague.’
Independent family firm Barnbrook Systems is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of many types of electro-mechanical switching devices for such sectors as rail, aviation, aerospace and defence.