A TOTAL of 780 years of service was marked in a celebratory dinner organised by Tynedale’s largest employer.

Hexham chipboard manufacturer Egger, based on Anick Road, presented employees with awards in recognition of their long service to the company in a function held at the Beaumont Hotel, in Hexham.

The awards recognised people who had celebrated 20, 25, 30 and, in some instances, 35 years of service to the firm.

Employees from across the business, including those from production, warehousing, engineering and sales, enjoyed a three-course Christmas meal before being presented with their awards by Tobias Zimmerman, Hexham’s plant director.

He said: “The long service awards are always an excellent opportunity to recognise and celebrate all of the hard work and commitment that these employees have given Egger.

“We have a very low employee turnover here, and this is what helps us to build up vital knowledge and experience within the company.

“We’re very excited to be welcoming the latest intake of apprentices to the company next year as this is key for us to continue being successful within our industry.”

With a highly successful apprenticeship scheme, which has been running for more than a decade, Egger also took the opportunity to celebrate the graduation of two of its apprentices, Bailey Turner and Alex Shaw, who both achieved their HNC in mechanical engineering.

Bailey said: “This apprenticeship has provided me with fantastic training from Egger’s best mechanical fitters and I have been able to achieve my HNC in mechanical engineering.

“I have now joined the mechanical maintenance team in the engineering department.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for me to gain more experience and further progress my skills within engineering at Egger.”