It was 1983 when fresh-faced 18 year old Jonathan Stansfield walked into W.E. Jameson & Son armed with little more than a pen and a piece of paper.

His interview was conducted by the company’s chairman, Malcolm Jameson, and involved a straight forward task, to write his name and address correctly.

Little did he know that this modest beginning would mark the start of a 40-year journey.

Jonathan started at the Masham-based animal feed and farming services company as an office boy, and from handling clerical duties to running errands, he immersed himself in every aspect of the business.

Darlington and Stockton Times: From left, Graham Jameson, Jonathan Stansfield, and Malcolm Jameson

Over the years, his dedication did not go unnoticed, and a spokesman for the company said his rise to director was not merely a result of longevity, but a testament to his commitment, ability, and contribution to the firm’s growth. “Jonathan has become an integral part of the company’s fabric,” added the spokesman.

To recognise his service, Jameson’s held a surprise party attended by work colleagues, business acquaintances, family and friends.

It was the second celebration for the firm, based at Foxholme Lane Mill, in recent weeks. Earlier this month the firm won the wholesale category at the Yorkshire and Humberside Family Business Awards.