Dulux Trade Paint Expert
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Staff at one of Stowmarket's biggest employers celebrated a landmark anniversary. Current workers joined former employees at AkzoNobel's decorative paints factory - formerly ICI Paints - to mark 40 years of paint manufacturing on Tuesday, May 15th.
And they were joined by one VIP guest - the world-famous Dulux dog.
The 85 employees at the factory wanted to celebrate the anniversary of what was a significant step in manufacturing, and technology. In 1972 a major investment was made at Stowmarket which saw the development of the "Premier Whites Plant" (PWP), designed to make large volume water based white paint, plus light colours and base paint for tinting purposes.
Earlier this year, the Stowmarket team conducted a UK-wide search to find past employees who may have lost touch since retiring or moving on from the company. Dozens of former colleagues got in touch and they enjoyed a day of celebrations. The day included an exhibition of past and present images of the site, as well as factory tours for those who wanted to see what has changed.
Local MP David Ruffley for Bury St Edmunds, congratulated the company and employees past and present, saying: "This celebration reminds us of a great industry that has been an important part of the local Mid Suffolk economy for decades. It is important that the celebrations honour the men and women who have made such a great contribution."
The local team at the Needham road site was joined by one of its past site managers, Wayne Stretch, now one of the management team for AkzoNobel's decorative paints, with responsibility for the supply chain.
Wayne commented: "This is a joyful occasion on which to revisit Stowmarket. The factory continues to be at the forefront of our manufacturing business, built around a strong heritage of testing and trialling paint production in ever more innovative and efficient ways. It is one of our world-class sites, and the event today reflects the pride of our employees as well as the growth of our business. It certainly hasn't stood-still since I was manager here, the site continues to change and I am sure will go from strength to strength over the next 40 years."
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