At this time Delamore was much smaller and Houseden recalls the production being focused on just "roses, tulips and daffodils". From this he has witnessed the company grow to one the of the biggest young plant producers in the country, yet he says Delamore "still maintained its core culture and principles of a close family run ethos and team".
Five decades later, now aged 65, he is still part of the Delamore team and is celebrating his latest milestone as Delamore’s longest-serving employee. Recent changes in retirement legislation means that he can now continue growing, although he has reduced his days of work.
Finance director James Banton said: "This is a fantastic achievement for both Johnny and Delamore. It shows the commitment staff have to our Company but also our promise to staff of being the employer of choice not only locally, but also within the horticultural industry to. It is also fantastic that we’ve been able to retain Johnny and his skills beyond the age of 65, which in this industry is vitally important. Furthermore Johnny is also able to contribute towards our long term talent plan, he can train and teach our young apprentices his skills and knowledge developed over the years; this form of learning can not be gained from the classroom, internet or books."