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Norman calls it a day at the age of 80

PUBLISHED: 09:56 05 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:36 06 July 2010

Norman Knights

Norman Knights

A HARDWORKING man who has turned his hand to a wide variety of jobs finally retired at the age of 80 last Friday.

Many people are itching to reach 65 years old so that they can officially retire from work, but that was certainly not the case for Norman Knights, of Carlton Colville, who needed to be told by doctors it was time to stop.

A HARDWORKING man who has turned his hand to a wide variety of jobs finally retired at the age of 80 last Friday.

Many people are itching to reach 65 years old so that they can officially retire from work, but that was certainly not the case for Norman Knights, of Carlton Colville, who needed to be told by doctors it was time to stop. And as he faced the prospect of his last day at work, Mr Knights reflected on his long career.

His working life first began during the second world war, when he spent his only prolonged period of time living away from the Lowestoft region. He was evacuated as a child to Hadfield in Derbyshire and at the age of 13 became employed as a reacher at a local cotton mill.

Norman would not stay away from Suffolk for long as his dad collected him from Derbyshire. He started work at the Palace Cinema on his return, and that would be the start of a career that would see him take on “every conceivable job there is in Lowestoft”, as one friend commented.

Amongst the jobs he took on were two years with the RAF, seven years with the Merchant Navy and eight years with the Ministry of Fisheries, including a period as a captain's cook.

Next up was a period working on the railway, before Norman worked as a milkman and ran a boarding house in Denmark Road.

“I was up for 4am but still put on breakfast at the boarding house. They called me the fastest milkman in town,” he said.

“I had 400 customers and would leave the dairy at 5am, but would be back by 8am with every pint delivered.”

Norman's next change of career would see him work in the warehouse at Task Drive, formerly Pye, and then at the age of 67 years old he got a job working in Hoseasons' warehouse.

“I love work, I have always loved work and never been out of a job,” said Norman, who cycled to work every day. “At Task Drive I used to get there early and had to be sent home as I didn't want to leave off.”

He admitted needing a lot of persuasion to finally call time on his working life, but the great-grandfather of two finally decided to retire and concentrate on his gardening.

Tim Fullham, marketing director at Hoseasons, presented Norman with an electric hedge cutter and vouchers as a leaving present from his colleagues, and admitted he would be very sadly missed.

“He is very popular and incredibly dedicated. He puts many younger people to shame with his attitude, enthusiasm and energy,” said Mr Fullham.

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