Long service awards were recently presented to four PCS employees to celebrate them completing 25, 35 and 45 years with the company. An event recently took place at the Express & Star head office in Wolverhampton when employees from companies, which are owned by the Claverley Group, were presented with their awards.
Among them was PCS employee Steve Whitbread, who has completed 45 years of service, Howard Lane who has been with the company for 35 years and Jon Chadwick and Dave Chapman, who have been with PCS for 25 years.
At the event, there was a video presentation covering news highlights from the last 45 years, and MNA chairman Tom Graham thanked the employees who, all together, have contributed 810 years of service. Each individual was presented with a front page of the Express & Star or Shropshire Star and a gift of their choice
After receiving his award for 45 years of service Steve Whitbread said: “I’ve had some great times working with PCS and since I retired in December, I’ve missed the camaraderie and working with customers. Over the years I travelled to see several of the publishers that we worked with, spending time in Ireland, Scotland, and London. I enjoyed seeing projects progress from the early days through to installation.”
Steve started at PCS as a computer operator when the business was based in Chapel Ash, in Wolverhampton where the famous Banks’ Brewery is now. “I was at the same desk for 45 years but moved to a couple of different offices before we finally settled in Wolverhampton city centre. I mainly worked on our finance software and NCS system, which covers circulation and distribution.
“Since I retired, I’ve been keeping fit by walking and going to the gym and have booked a few holidays. It was wonderful to receive the long service award – 45 years is a long time and it’s nice that it has been noted. As well as my front page of the Express & Star I received an iPad Air, so now I can keep up to date with all the newspapers through my tablet.”
Developer Howard Lane started at the company in February 1986 as a computer programmer. He said: “Even though people have left and joined the company there has always been a unique PCS camaraderie and atmosphere. I’ve made many friends, and the social scene has always been very good. Even though the technology has changed beyond recognition my role hasn’t altered much, I’m still a programmer/analyst.
“During my time with PCS I’ve enjoyed the various challenges of the job and the many site visits to see how publishers use the systems – people have generally always been helpful and friendly. I enjoyed the challenges of working in London with the Evening Standard in the early days.
Also, I enjoyed my trips in the 90’s to America, with our software provider at the time, Quark Express. We went to places such as Denver, Ventura, and Boston allowing us to enjoy a trip snowmobiling. There have been many good times over the last three decades, and it was a proud moment to be presented with my 35-year award.”
Jon Chadwick is a product specialist at PCS but started with the company as a site controller when the office was based in Albrighton. “In those days the company was very different, but it was around 2007 that we had a re-structure and moved to offices in Wolverhampton,” said Jon.
“It was very nice to receive the long service award and it was made even more special because of everything that has happened in the last two years. I enjoyed seeing faces that I hadn’t seen in a while – and that includes Stephen Whitbread, who retired last year. At the moment I’m mainly working from home and going into the office one or two days a week, so it was nice to get everyone together.
“At the event, I was presented with a front page of the Shropshire Star, which is now on my wall at home. Part of the award was cash and because I’m into astronomy, I bought a specialised camera for Astrophotography, which allows you to take photos through a telescope.
I’ve enjoyed the last 25 years at PCS – it has been a fantastic experience. The one thing that has stayed the same through all those years is that I’ve enjoyed working with my colleagues. Whatever changes have taken place I’ve always got on with everyone and enjoyed the experience of working with a great team.”
Dave Chapman started with PCS as a junior engineer, and it wasn’t long before he became an Apple certified engineer. This enabled PCS to become an accredited Apple Repair centre so they could service computers for the newspaper industry, along with Apple users across the Midlands and Shropshire.
Dave says: “The job has changed so much, and I think that’s one of the reasons that has kept me at PCS for so long. It has always been interesting, and the regular changes have kept me on my toes. PCS works hard to ensure it stays ahead of the curve, and our technology breaks new ground – it is an exciting company to be part of.”