A HARDWORKING man has celebrated 50 years of dedication to a Colchester company.

Peter Hunnaball, 66, of Harwich, joined Woods Air Movement as a technical apprentice on September 6, 1972, living in Dedham at the time.

Since then, he has spent half a century at the company, progressing into new roles and training future technicians.

His first role saw him visit many different parts of the organisation.

After four years he was then promoted to running the acoustics laboratory and in 1981 Peter was promoted to laboratory manager.

The company then sponsored Peter to complete a business degree at Colchester Institute.

After graduating, Peter then went on to manage several major projects for the company, in 1992.

This new venture within the company saw Peter work on the Jubilee Line extension, which involved Woods implementing high powered major exhaust fans.

Peter manned an office in Canary Wharf during this period.

Over the years, Peter has also worked on Sydney Harbour tunnel and at a lead and zinc mine in China, allowing him to explore the globe within his role.

Peter then worked on the industrial side of the company, helping to develop products for customer needs.

For the past two years, he has been Woods’ technical manager, playing on his experience and knack for coming up with solutions.

Woods Air Movement threw a celebratory event for Peter, contacting apprentices he trained, as well as colleagues and family members.

The afternoon was celebrated with cakes, drinks, speeches and a video presentation on Peter’s time at the company.

Woods also renamed a room after him, where he trained many apprentices, with a commemorative plaque noting his service to the company.

Peter is considering winding down in the next 18 months or so.

But on what kept him at the company for so long, Peter said: “Each week there is a new application or need for fans. They are such a widely used product, that there is always something new to do.

“More than anything, it’s the people. I have always been fortunate to work with good people.

“I get such a buzz from training and helping people. I have been trying to bring as many people as I can to a high technical level.

"I get an enormous buzz out of boosting their knowledge through training.”