50 years a piece for Grangemouth Syngenta duo

Willie Walker (William Walker) and Danny Daye (Daniel Daye) both celebrating 50 years service at the company.
Willie Walker (William Walker) and Danny Daye (Daniel Daye) both celebrating 50 years service at the company.

Two men have enjoyed a combined century of working in Grangemouth’s chemical industry.

Willie Walker and Danny Daye have each given 50 years service to Syngenta – and its legacy companies – and were rewarded this week with a ceremony and a buffet lunch for friends and colleagues to share in their major milestone.

On Monday, Syngenta’s Earls Road site manager Andrew Tomb presented the two stalwarts with their long service certificates.

Mr Tomb said: “Fifty years is a remarkable achievement for both men and their loyalty to the company is commendable. Next year sees the centenary of chemical manufacture on Earls Road and this celebration marks the start of a year of events to commemorate the 100 years.”

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Syngenta’s Grangemouth site produces crop protection products for use by farmers worldwide and employs over 350 skilled people – including Willie and Danny.

The two men began their remarkable careers at ICI, as the firm was known back then, in August 1968 when they arrived with the new intake of fresh faced young apprentices.

Willie (66) started his long career in the labs at Ardeer in Ayrshire, while Danny joined the team at Grangemouth as an apprentice fitter.

Danny (65), from Falkirk, has seen a few changes over the last half century, including the names of the firm he has spent all that time working for – ICI, Zeneca, Astra Zeneca and Syngenta.

The former Victoria Primary School and Graham High School pupil said: “I was just 15 when I started. It was a good job with a good company to work for and good people working alongside you and it’s still like that today.

“I trained as a mechanical engineer and now I’m what they call a manufacturing technician.”

Now working on a part-time job share basis, Danny admits he is slowing down as he moves towards a well-earned retirement.

He said: “I think next year I will be looking at giving up – but I’ll have to discuss that with the person I share the job with of course.”

As well as the certificates and the lunch both he and Willie enjoyed, Danny’s wife of over 40 years Susan also received a bouquet of flowers from Syngenta as well.