A QUAY worker has retired after an incredible 49 years in the same job.

Jim Baxter was 18 and living in Bradfield when he first started work on the quayside in Mistley.

When he was 21, he started work with TW Logistics and has been there ever since.

His early years also included working at Allied Maltings in Mistley.

Jim, who is now 70, is calling it a day after a lifetime of hard work and long hours.

He said: “I would work on the ships and in the maltings.

“They used to get all the wet barley on the floor, two inches deep.

“It used to start growing and we used to rake it then put it in the kiln and you have malt.

“It was working in high temperatures.

“Then they took on ships along the quay and it was all sorts of cargo.

“One from the Ministry of Defence used to have a lot of ammunition.

“There were rockets and grenades.”

Jim’s work would often take all night, even starting work at 7am one morning and finishing at 4am the next morning.

He added: “It was hard manual labour back then, it was all on your back and arms.

“We used to do a lot of steel work and 60lb boxes of cans of juice.

“At its height there were 32 to 35 guys working on the quay, but now there are under a dozen.

“It is more forklifts and cranes now, it’s not the job it used to be.

“There has been a lot of laughter over the years”

Jim, who lives in Dovercourt, said he was married with three children when working long hours.

He added: “There were extremely long hours.

“I had a young family and it was early mornings and late nights.

“When the twins came along I would get home at 9pm or 10pm and take over looking after them.”

Jim took voluntarily redundancy when he was 64 but despite leaving on the Friday of one week, he was reinstated as an employee the following Monday.

He has been doing a couple of days work every week or so, but said he was being asked to work more often so thought it was time to to call it a day.

The grandfather of seven is now planning to spend more time travelling, taking photographs of wildlife and going to the theatre.

TW Logistics Mistley foreman Steve Cone said: “The Port of Mistley is an illustrious staff member down after Jim Baxter retired.

“Jim started in 1969 and has given wonderful service over the years.

“He will now retire and enjoy life with his camera taking pictures especially of wildlife.”