The name of Link 51 has been synonymous in this country with the storage industry since its formation in 1951 – from when it takes its name. Yet, remarkably, this month has seen the retirement of the company’s eldest statesman, Sid Corfield, who has been with the organisation since its very early days. He has finally called it a day at the grand old age of 86 having previously turned down offers of retirement which most people 20 years his junior would have long accepted. It represents the genuine end of an era for the Midlands-based company.
“I can remember everything being brand new when I joined just a few months after the company was created,” comments Sid, “when I used to put in 12 hour daily shifts for the princely sum of £35 per week. It is remarkable how much things have changed over the years, but so many memories remain fresh.”
He can still recall, for example, cooking gammon and eggs on a big shovel over the coal fire – “well before the canteen was up and running,” he says.
The Royal Artillery veteran, who served in Burma and India during the Second World War, has taken on a range of roles at Link 51’s Brierley Hill factory, from Quality Inspector to, in his latter days, overseeing staff uniforms. Right up to his retirement, he has regularly walked the three miles to the factory each morning and every evening but reluctantly confesses his legs are now not as youthful as they used to be. However, there is no chance of him taking it easy as he plans to keep active as long as he possible can.
“The place won’t be the same without Sid around,” comments Link 51’s Sales Director, Keith Evans. “Everybody here recognises how much he’s given to the company and we all feel certain that Sid and his wife Marjorie will now have many years of happy retirement which they thoroughly deserve.”