John Smith's Tadcaster Brewery Toasts Mick's 50 Year Career

7th April 2014

Long-serving John Smith's brewery engineer Mick Hallaways has called time on a career spanning 50 years at the Tadcaster site. Mick joined the brewery at the age of 15 in April 1964 on a starting wage of £6 per week. On his 16th birthday, he became an apprentice engineer with the company, completing his apprenticeship in 1971 – the same year he married his wife Ann.

During his career, Mick reported to 15 managers and saw 6 changes of ownership which, in 2009, culminated in the Scottish & Newcastle-owned brewery being acquired by HEINEKEN, the world's third largest brewer. Recalling changes to working conditions during his time at the brewery, Mick said: "If you were employed in the brewhouse, the foreman would give you a cold beer to offset the heat you had to work in. The foreman would issue each employee with 2 bottles of Courage Light Ale per day – and if you didn't return the empties you didn't get your allowance!"

Mick's milestone achievement was honoured at a special presentation where he received tickets for a VIP trip for two aboard the Belmond Northern Belle luxury train to Mount Snowdon and a framed print of the brewery before attending a celebratory retirement party with his family and brewery colleagues at the Magnet Sports and Social Club in Tadcaster.

Brewery manager Martin Kochl paid tribute to Mick's tremendous service saying: "Celebrating 50 years' service with one company and on one site is a milestone that very few workers can hope to achieve."

In a personal note of congratulations to Mick, HEINEKEN UK managing director David Forde added his thanks to Mick for his commitment to the success of the John Smith's Tadcaster Brewery and wished Mick a long and happy retirement.