Loyal Malcolm Cross has clocked up 50 years working for one of the country’s best-known manufacturers and suppliers of cleaning and hygiene products.
Despite being aged 78, evergreen Malcolm still works three days a week in an advisory role at family run Cleenol on the Beaumont Business Park in Banbury, Oxon.
The workaholic has no plans to hang up his overalls and even after a hard day’s work he can be found caring for a neighbour’s walled garden or looking after the village green near his home in nearby Hornton.
Malcolm’s marathon stint at Cleenol started in 1971 when you could buy a pint of milk for five pence or a pint of beer for 16 pence. He started out as a driver before working his way up to warehouse manager and then works manager – a role he held for 40 years.
In recognition of his steadfast loyalty, Cleenol’s MD and fourth generation owner Sam Greaves recently rewarded Malcolm with a memorable gift – a dream trip to be taken with wife Linda to the Balearics Islands with Saga Holidays.
Describing his strict daily routine, Malcolm said: “I rise around 6.30 am every day, and have a cup of tea but no breakfast. From Monday to Wednesday I’m at Cleenol’s site by 7am. I take a sandwich with me for a 10.30 am break but then have nothing to eat until my evening meal.
“I get home from Cleenol around 4pm when Linda gives me a ticking off for staying out too long. We settle down for dinner at 5.30pm and after that I will go outside and undertake various gardening tasks before returning home by 9pm to watch some football or horse racing on TV or even some Irish Country music. I’m in bed by 10.30pm”.
Malcolm – who reached 50 years of service at Cleenol on December 23 – has acquired so much experience over the years that even now, as almost an octogenarian, he is playing a vital role organising staff, planning, checking goods inwards, helping with production and driving a fork lift truck, among other duties.
He married Linda 52 years ago and became stepfather to her sons Mark and Julian who, amazingly, have also worked at Cleenol in a variety of roles for 30 years and 40 years respectively. The couple also have a daughter, Jo, and six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Malcolm, who says he has “no retirement plans whatsoever”, has a few words of advice for others who want to work past retirement age: “Stay engaged, keep active and look for things you enjoy at work. Having an active mind and bags of energy is also really important”.
He added: “Staying so long at Cleenol is one of my biggest achievements in life. I love the dynamic of the business and its family ethos. I have now seen the fourth generation take on the ownership – quite a surreal turn of events considering my wife used to change the current MD’s nappies at one time”.
Sam Greaves, Owner and MD of Cleenol, said: “Malcolm is that rarity in the modern workplace – someone who has stayed with the same employer for more than half a century. He is still going strong and playing an important part in our success. He richly deserves our gift of a luxury holiday and, at the same time, we expect to see him as part of the Cleenol workforce for some time yet!”.
Cleenol, which can trace its roots back to the early 1700s, has customers all over the world and has a client portfolio comprising local authorities, government departments and appointed distributors throughout the UK and worldwide, as well as wholesalers and stockists in a range of marketplaces.