Three Decades of Dedication: An Interview with Production Team Leader Julie Dadd

Three Decades of Dedication: An Interview with Production Team Leader Julie Dadd

Recently celebrating her 30th anniversary with Anchor Magnets, we have the privilege of sitting down with Production Team Leader Julie Dadd, a stalwart presence for the past three decades.

1. What was your first impression of the company when you started, and how has it changed over the years?

Small and friendly! I’d come from a huge sweet manufacturer where I was just a number and knew this place would be quite different. But a factory is a factory, and principles are all the same.

2. Can you share a memorable moment or event from your early days with the company that still makes you smile?

Works parties were always good. I had a party trick with a cigarette that I shared just the once, and it was talked about and laughed about by the directors and their wives on many occasions, much to my embarrassment.

3. In your 30 years here, what's the most significant change you've witnessed?

The growth of footprint of the business from a small section of the yard shared with other companies, to acquiring the entire site, plus a warehouse across the road. Once upon a time the unit across the road was nicknamed Rotherham because it was so far away when you had to fetch a roll or a pallet of material!

4. In your 30 years with the company, you've likely encountered various projects and initiatives. Can you share a project or accomplishment that you're particularly proud of and why it stands out to you?

Recently, I felt a great sense of achievement in the work I did in the extrusion department when I was asked to go in there as a team leader. The 12 months I spent in there was eye opening, challenging and a huge learning curve. It took blood, sweat and a few tears. But the sense of satisfaction I got when I kept hearing positive feedback from people was great.

5. What's the best piece of advice you've received during your time here, and how has it influenced your career?

“Have a go”. If it’s not right it can be fixed! Others and I will often not take a leap or move forward for fear of getting something wrong. We all learn from mistakes so just do it and give it your best shot or you’ll hold yourself back forever.

6. Throughout your tenure, you must have worked with many colleagues. Can you share a funny or heart-warming story about one of them?

Over the years we worked closely with Crown Hill which was an employment service for people with health conditions. One employee who I had a very close relationship with really loved the Spice Girls. She kept telling me how much she’d like to see them, so another employee and I said that if they ever came to Sheffield, we would take her to see them (we never really expected it to happen). However, low and behold a few months later a tour was announced, and Don Valley Stadium was on there! Therefore, we had to keep our promise. It was a very cold and dark night but the concert was great and we all had a fabulous time.

7. As someone who's seen the company evolve, what do you think sets us apart from others in the industry?

It’s got to be the people, the connections to one another that we’ve all nurtured and grown over the years. It’s the family like make-up of the business, the personal touch. Like all families, there are ups and downs and a couple of squabbles over the years, but that just makes our little family stronger.

8. They say laughter is the best medicine. Have there been any funny mishaps or pranks that you've been a part of or witnessed during your time here?

Too many to mention! I’ve seen people perform Sugar Baby Love by the Rubettes at 5:45 one morning as it came on the radio for one of the agency workers who was working with us: a particular favourite song of one of our old employees. But the funniest thing must be one of two things: either me falling face down in a fresh area of concrete in the yard and having to be hosed down by a powerful hosepipe, or one of my colleagues falling asleep on the train home to Doncaster after one of our drunken nights out and ending up in Grimsby!

9. Finally, what advice would you give to someone who's just starting their journey with the company?

Reach for the stars. You’ll get out of it what you put in. There may be bumps in the road, but life is full of them. Keep smiling and try to laugh often – it’s the best medicine for life.

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