It was lucky for some as 13 employees of James Walker in Cockermouth, with a collective total of 370 years service, received long service awards.

Those being honoured at the Trout Hotel in Cockermouth included three workers that had been with the company for 40 years - and 10 that had served for 25 years.

Mark Brook, supply chain director at James Walker, said: “We do the annual awards to recognise, celebrate and say thank you to our long serving employees that have helped build our business to what it is today.

“It is great that we have whole families working here, people join Walkers and stay because of the values of the group.

"We are continually changing, moving and improving the business.

"It’s that long term security for our employees, customers and businesses that makes us different.”

Mark Penman has worked for the company for 25 years, joining at 25.

He said: “The building is the same, but the machinery has changed. The workforce is like one big family really.”

Some of the workforce at the manufacturing site are actually family as his wife, Suzanne Penman has worked at Walkers for 26 years, getting her long service award last year - and his cousin Nicola Penham was also receiving a 25 years service award.

Nicola, from Maryport, started working in the office answering telephones when she was 20 and now works as a configurator.

Nicola said that in addition to cousins working at the company, her nanna’s sister worked in payroll when she started.

She described working at Walkers as being “like a family atmosphere, especially in our office, everyone gets on”.

John Cuthell, 58, from Maryport, received a 40 years service award and said: “It is a good company to work for, they treat people with respect and there are lots of friends here, they’re like family."

John’s wife, Marie, has worked at Walkers for 15 years and his daughter, Sarah, has worked there for four years.

John was 18 when he started as a shop floor worker. Now he is an abrasive waterjet programme operator.

John Storey, who met his wife Jacqueline at Walkers, was also receiving a 40 year service award and had started when he was 18 as a press operator.

Ian McLaughlin, working at a branch in the south, also received a 40 years service award.

Kellie Chapman, from Dearham, joined Walkers when she was just 17 as a make-up operator in the offices.

She said her mum, Josephine Martin, used to work at the company. She received her 25 years service award.

Other people receiving a 25 years service award were: Toni Baxter, Ian Bell, Raymond Barclay, Ian Sloan, Christopher Woodward, Steven Lawrence and Gary McManus.