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Staff reunion to share MOTEC memories

By Toby Neal | Telford | News | Published:

Dozens of former staff at MOTEC, the long-disappeared training centre at High Ercall, are staging a reunion in the village on Saturday, November 3.

An aerial image showing the MOTEC site from 2001

The get-together is in High Ercall Village Hall from 7pm and by coincidence will come almost exactly on the 50th birthday of MOTEC – it stood for Multi Occupational Training and Education Centre – which opened in October 1968.

One of the organisers, Nikki Street, said: "About 50 of us are getting together, ranging from catering staff, to cleaners, and instructors."

Nikki, who lives now in Lichfield, went to work in the restaurant at MOTEC as a trainee chef after leaving Madeley Court School as the young Nikki Wager from Brookside in 1979.

"We were like a big family there. We were feeding 300 people a day breakfast, lunch, and evening meal.

"I ended up being the general manager about 10 to 15 years later. My mum Kate Price and stepfather Jack Price also worked at MOTEC. My mum was the assistant catering manager, and she got my job."

Nikki says that when she went to MOTEC it was run by the Road Transport Industry Training Board.

"It used to train bus drivers, lorry drivers, motorcyclists, and driving instructors. Another thing we had was the Bus Driver of the Year competition."

Later on it was let to outside companies for conferences, with on-site accommodation.

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Nikki has organised the event along with Caroline Tarbuck, nee Evans, who used to be on the catering team.

Nikki says she left MOTEC for a time before going back.

"Mum looked after the catering as catering manager and then we got the cleaning and security contract there as well as the catering, and I went back as general manager to look after all of that. I took over from mum when she retired."

The event, which is open to all former MOTEC staff, follows a similar get-together about three years ago.

"It would be lovely to get as many as we can together to reminisce, and we're going to take along old photographs. Everybody is bringing food with them, and there is a bar laid on," said Nikki whose mum and stepfather, who are both now in their 90s, will be going along.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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