Greene King staff raising a glass to the good times

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Bev Beddall and Bruce Odell had a hard act to follow, after last year’s 20 Year Greene King Reunion when over 100 ex-employees and some of their family turned out.

Nevertheless, determined to make the reunion an annual event, they managed last Saturday to get a sizeable group together for the 21 Year Greene King Reunion which was held at The Biggleswade Conservative Club.

Bev said: “I was persuaded by former colleagues to get this off the ground, as they thought I was the best person for the job. Well, we were like one family and cared for each other. The unity was something we’ve never found since.”

Bev started out on post duty and progressed to order processing, followed by empties and return credits. There she met her husband Mick Beddall and, in fact, some of his family, as his father, Les Beddall, and two brothers, Stephen and Peter worked on the Dray.

Bruce Odell worked as a brewhouse operative.

His father, also Bruce Odell, was an area manager and Bruce senior’s wife, Connie, worked in the brewery canteen.

Bruce junior had numerous other relatives who worked at Greene King including his sister, Tracy, his uncle Ken Desborough, his cousins, Stan, Nick and Steve Desborough, as well as three second cousins, Ron and Peter Odell and Ken Page. It was also at Greene King where Bruce met his partner, Sonia Butcher (now his wife Sonia Odell), who is the niece of Linda Butcher, who also worked at The Brewery, as trade relations manager.

Linda’s son Mark carried out his work experience at Greene King and following the Brewery closure in October 1997 he joined a family business supporting Greene King for 20 Years.

There were, of course, other ex-employees who attended and were not related but felt equally a part of the big family. Laura Roberts, whom most remember as the junior, said: “It was great to see old friends.” Joan Dennis, who ran the staff canteen, commented: “It was good to meet up and reminisce without serving umpteen cups of coffee.”

Sue Mauksh who worked in order processing, said: “It was lovely to look back on a very happy period of my life.”

Sue Sheppard who worked alongside her, said: “It was lovely to see old faces, I mean from a long time ago.”

Roy Bacon summed up: “We didn’t realise how well off we were!”

Whilst the Greene King Brewery has been replaced with Asda and lots of its pubs have closed in the town, Greene King will be remembered in Biggleswade for generations to come.

>If you missed out this time, keep an eye out on the Greene King (Biggleswade) Facebook page for next October’s reunion.