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JCB construction equipment manufacturer says farewell to longest serving female employee

ONE of JCB’s longest serving female employees today bowed out after 36 years’ service.

Christine Ball first joined the company in 1964 as a teenager straight from college to take up the position of Secretary to one of the company’s directors on a starting salary of £288 a year.

She landed the job at JCB at the first attempt and at the first interview she had ever attended and went on to become one of the company’s most senior and experienced secretaries.

Her first stint with JCB lasted until 1974 when she left to have the first of her two daughters. Christine made a welcome return to JCB at the World Headquarters, Rocester, in 1985 and has been based there ever since, working as Secretary for some of the company’s most senior directors.

Christine, who lives just two miles from JCB’s World HQ at Marston Montgomery, said: "I don’t know where all the time has gone. It’s the people that make JCB one of the best places to work and I really am going to miss them enormously."

In her early days at the company, aside from her secretarial duties, Christine would be drafted into to help with promotional events. At the launch of a new backhoe loader in the 1960s, she swapped her smart secretarial suit for a grass skirt and bikini to fit in with the event’s Hawaiian theme.

Current boss, Tim Burnhope, Group Managing Director for Product Development and Commercial Operations, said: "This is not only an end of an era for Christine, but also for JCB. With her retirement the company loses another link with those pioneering days of the 1960s.

"Christine has given fantastic service to JCB and her loyalty, commitment and hard work have been unswerving throughout all the years she has worked here. We wish her a long and happy retirement."

Christine has a busy retirement ahead of her pursing her hobbies of organic flower and vegetable growing, golf and foreign travel.

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