Photograph: L-R : Tim Smith, Managing Director congratulates Robert Strudwick on his retirement
Robert Strudwick, Quality Control Engineer at Williams Refrigeration, retired on Friday 22nd March after 29 years working for the company. Since joining he has seen the business expand, change locations and, in recent years, place significant focus on energy efficiency and sustainable refrigeration.
“Other than the Victoria Sponge cake my colleague made last week, I would say an overall highlight of working here was joining at such an early stage in the company’s history,” says Robert. “It really felt like we were pioneers, commercial refrigeration was only then beginning to take off.”
With a background in mechanical engineering, Robert started working for Williams as a production supervisor. After 10 years working “hands on” with both the general engineering and welding departments of the company, Robert moved to quality control.
“One of the major changes in the last seven to eight years has been the commitment to energy efficient refrigeration,” says Robert. “When I first started working for Williams in the eighties, it was all about performance. While, naturally, this is still crucial, buyers are now focused on the green factor.”
Robert’s family is closely connected to Williams. Both his daughters have worked there and his son-in-law, Carl works for the company as a foreman welder. Carl joined over twenty years ago, which is how he met Robert’s daughter, a secretary at the time.
As for future plans, Robert looks forward to making use of the archery-vouchers his colleagues have given him as part of a retirement gift. His first day of retirement coincides with the christening of his god daughter Sarah’s son. Sarah was born the day Robert started working for Williams twenty-nine years ago.