Grantham man Bob to show dogs following retirement from Vacu-Lug

Bob Hall and his dogs Bessie and Dior.
Bob Hall and his dogs Bessie and Dior.

Vacu-Lug’s production cell manager Bob Hall is retiring later this month, after over 41 years with the company.

Bob first joined Vacu-Lug in 1975, at the age of 21, originally working on the Colsterworth site as a team member on the shop floor.

He worked for Pet Foods and British Steel before joining the Vacu-Lug team, started out working in the tractor and light truck tyre production departments, before moving into precure and off-the-road.

Bob, who lives in Grantham, has seen many changes since he first walked through the doors at the Colsterworth site over four decades ago. He said: “Back when I first started, the job was extremely labour-intensive. I worked on the presses – which were manually-operated back then – doing 12-hour shifts, 6 days a week.”

His landmark moment was around 17 years ago when he was promoted from team leader to production cell manager, where he has been managing the precure and off-the-road department at the Grantham factory ever since.

In addition to his main role, and having attained his Level 1, 2 and 3 certificates within the retread workshop practice qualification, Bob was selected to become a trainer for City and Guilds. He has been delivering the syllabus to colleagues for approximately 10 years, assisting them with gaining the qualification and building on their skills and knowledge of retread tyres.

Vacu-Lug managing director Tim Hercock said: “Bob has made an enormous contribution to Vacu-Lug during his time with us. In addition to his retread expertise, he has proved to be an excellent manager whose calm and reliable character has made him a first-class trainer and provided a positive influence on all those who have worked with him. He is deservedly a popular figure who we shall miss and we wish him a very enjoyable retirement.”

Bob has many things to look forward to, including spending time with his grandchildren and assisting his wife Diana with her dog showing work. Having bred and trained dogs for 46 years, their dogs are shown at dog shows all over the country.

While they have mostly raised Labradors for working and showing, they also have three Bichon Frises, which qualify for Crufts year on year. Diana looks after the majority of the dog showing work, after attending training courses with an award-winning groomer, Bob has now passed two levels in bathing, grooming and trimming.

On leaving the company, Bob said: “My daughter asked me if I had ever got bored of going to the same place for almost 42 years and the answer is no, I haven’t. I’ll hugely miss all of the lads I’ve worked with throughout the years. It has been a pleasure to help train some of them to get to where they are.

“Coming to work, mixing with the lads, the banter – I’ll definitely miss that.”