The five staff that have been rewarded have been with Rose for a combined total of 170 years and, according to managing director Michael Rose, the entire roster of 45 staff have been with the company a combined total of around 500 years.
The longest serving member of staff is guillotine operator John Battersby, who has been with the company 48 years.
The second-longest serving member is production director Keith Osborne, 40 years, who started his career with Rose in 1975 working as a minder on a Thompson Platen letterpress. He was promoted to the production office 16 years ago.
Osborne said: “It is a steady business, as steady as you can get in print really. Print has suffered quite drastically over the years but it seems to have come a long way.
“In the factory itself at the moment we are still running the Thompson letterpress that I was working on when I started here.”
The third and fourth longest-serving members of staff are sisters Julie May and Christine Taylor, who have been with Rose for 34 and 30 years respectively. May and Taylor both work in the bindery.
The fifth member is Dan Clarke, print supervisor, who celebrates 25 years with the company this year.
Rose Calendars’ marketing manager Elizabeth Rose stressed that it is customary for staff to spend long periods of time with Rose, and that the business regularly celebrates its longest-serving staff.
She said: “I think it’s a skill-based thing. John (Battersby) and Keith (Osborne) have never worked anywhere else. You’d have to ask them what keeps them here but I suppose it is somewhat force of habit.
“Their skills are very exclusive to our industry, there aren’t many calendar manufacturers left. The print industry is changing with the onset of digital and those sorts of skills that have come up through the generations are very valuable.”
Rose said each staff member was awarded with a certificate and a gift, with Taylor being particularly pleased with hers.
She said: “Christine is extremely proud of her framed certificate. When I asked her to bring it in for the photo she was most worried that it would get lost or broken and mentioned that the wooden frame is actually the same colour as her sitting room."
Colchester-based digital and litho printer Rose Calendars produces calendars from start-to-finish, including design, for which it has its own in-house team. Michael Rose claims it is the largest promotional B2B calendar publisher and manufacturer in the UK.
It has approximately nine presses, including four Heidelberg Speedmasters, plus Kodak and Roland digital and offset presses. It also has specialist finishing and binding equipment.