What it’s like to live in our retirement homes: Bob’s story

Bob’s ambition as a young boy was to join the printing trade, and he showed great perseverance in achieving his goal, sourcing a job on his own without family connections which at the time was a real challenge. In 1962 he joined Messrs. C. Attfield & Son as an apprentice, with pay set at £4 for a 50.5 hour working week.

“I just wanted the job, although the building was very old, freezing cold and still with plenty of signs of its previous use as a stables!” Bob recalls.

During his seven-year apprenticeship, Bob attended college one day a week, alongside evening classes. By the time he was in his second year, unlike the other apprentices on his course, he was already setting presses and running jobs. By his third year, he was trusted to work on his own, composing, proofing and plate-making as well as operating the presses. “I still had to make the tea, though,” he laughs. “I think the others had conveniently forgotten I had presses to operate!”

Life at Beaverbrook House

Bob is delighted to live in Beaverbrook, with its close association to the print trade he loves. “It’s unique because it is designed for retired members of the printing and allied trades, showing appreciation to those who made a big contribution to them,” he explains.

He and the other residents appreciate the fact that the charity’s other help and support services can be available to them if needed, including the free helpline providing emotional and practical support, which is different to what’s offered by other retirement living developments.

Bob would encourage anyone who has worked in print, paper, packaging, publishing and the graphic arts, or who has a close association with the sectors, to come and see for themselves what Beaverbrook has to offer. “If you want to stay close to the printing community in retirement,” he urges, “go for it!”

There are currently vacancies at Beaverbrook House. To arrange to look around or discuss your circumstances, please contact our welfare team on 01293 542820 or email support@theprintingcharity.org.uk 

Find more information about our retirement developments.

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If you, or someone you know needs support, or you’d like to know more about our free, confidential helpline, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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