9 November 1977 – Current 2024

Introducing our longest serving staff – Malcolm Routledge

Malcolm works at our site in Haltwhistle, Northumberland, where we develop, formulate and manufacture all of our speciality chemical products before shipping them worldwide. 

As the longest serving member of staff, he walks us through his time at AGMA, from his humble beginnings in 1977 up until this present day.

I joined AGMA as a Junior Process Operator in 1977, just after my 18th birthday. My father, who was an ex-miner, had joined AGMA after the Bardon Mill coal mine closed in 1973. AGMA, being a family business, kindly took me on. 

My aim was to stay just until I’d bought my motorcycle. I saved hard to buy it, it was £400 back then. The then Production Manager, Alan Ferguson, took me under his wing and mentored me, and after I’d been with AGMA awhile I thought, “This isn’t too bad, I quite like it”.

As familiarity grew, I tended to grasp things more quickly and easily, and in 1980 I was promoted to Production Foreman, going from being paid weekly onto the monthly payroll. In 1995, my mentor Alan Ferguson retired, and I stepped into his position as Production Manager, and in 1998 I was offered the Operations Manager role, I was overseeing production and primarily running transport with three dedicated heavy goods vehicles and drivers.

Outside of work, I live in a rural area with a big garden and greenhouse. I’m also an avid fan of the rugby league – a game I played until I was 45, when I hung my boots up. Coming from the beautiful Northumberland, I do a bit of walking in the North Pennines, Tindale Fells and other areas of outstanding natural beauty, all of which are within walking distance from my front door.

You might ask what made me stay with AGMA for so long? I’d say job satisfaction and a good working environment with all the people, from AGMA leadership to colleagues. For many years I’ve been expected and allowed to make my own decisions while receiving the right support. I have always felt respected – a worthwhile tooth in the cog of industry. After 46 years, there is nobody I wouldn’t class as a colleague and friend – it’s a steady ship.


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