‘I’ll work until the cows come home’ says farm man

The Oxford Times: Robin Davis who has celebrated 60 years working at Elm Farm Robin Davis who has celebrated 60 years working at Elm Farm

FOR 60 years, Robin Davis has worked on the same dairy farm pulling an estimated 64 million pints of milk.

But the 75-year-old has no plans to retire after boss Simon Goss threw Mr Davis a party marking his decades of service.

About 100 family and friends gathered for a roast dinner in the Elm Farm barn on Sunday.

But the next morning the grandfather-of-four was up as usual at the crack of dawn to start work feeding the cows.

It was only in recent years that he stopped milking the cattle, a twice-a-day job.

Mr Davis, married to Margaret, 76, for 56 years, said: “I like my job.

“The thing is you do your job, ok you get paid for it, but if you got a job like that you do it because you love the job.”

Even breaking his back in an accident at the farm in 1985 did deter Mr Davis, of Glen Close, Stratton Audley, near Bicester.

He turned up wearing a full back brace and carried on with his duties.

Not so long ago he was up at 2.30am and milking by 3am at the Mill Road, Stratton Audley farm, including Christmas morning – and only gave it up after he had both knees replaced.

In his youth he lived at RAF Holton and in Egypt with his dad Eric, a warrant officer in the RAF.

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On his return to Oxfordshire, the then 15-year-old started work for Eric and George, Simon Goss’s father.

He stepped into the footsteps of his grandfather Algernon “Algi” Bryant who had worked at the farm for 48 years before him.

Mr Davis said: “It’s impossible to explain just how much it has changed. Years ago we did everything by hand now we’ve got teleporters and big machinery.

“When I started out five of us worked on the farm, now there are only three of us.”

Son Kevin, 54, daughters Jackie Davis-Smith, 52, Rita Leigh, 49, and Kim Davis, 36, and four grandchildren wished him well.

Mrs Davis-Smith said: “All our lives he has been dedicated to the farm.

“When we were born he left mum in the hospital and went back to milk the cows.

“We are really proud of him. There are times when we think he should retire but he would be totally miserable.”

Mr Goss said: “He has worked with three generations of the Goss family, my father, me and my daughter Frances, 15.”

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