A HERDSMAN from Pembrokeshire has milked his last cow after 56 years of working continuously at Pointz Castle Farm, near Newgale.

David John, Loch Vane, began working at the farm back in 1963.

On March 20 he finally hung up his milking gloves for the last time at the age of 77.

David’s family believes he holds the British record for working continuously at the same place of employment for the longest time.

He started at Pointz Castle at the age of 21 when the farm was owned by the Evans family, remaining there when the farm was taken over by the Raymond family and staying in their employ until this year.

David grew up on a small-holding and spent his childhood helping his father hand milk his small herd of cows. His mother used to make butter from the milk which was then sold around Solva.

“I was out with my father daily. That’s your life,” he said. “you just automatically go into it [farming].”

David left school at the age of 15 and worked at another farm before moving to Pointz Castle.

When he started, he knew the names of all the cows he milked and estimates thousands of animals have passed through his hands over the decades.

Even into his 70s he worked the early shift every other weekend at Pointz Castle, arriving at the farm for the 5.30am milking, going home at 9.30am and then coming back in for the afternoon.

His dedication has been recognised by Prince Charles, who presented him with a long service medal at the Royal Welsh Show.

He has also received tankards commemorating his long service at both Fishguard and Pembrokeshire County Show.

“I cut down a bit in the last couple of weeks,” he said, “but I will miss it. I will miss the farm and going to work.

“I will miss them at the farm but I’ve seen enough of cows.”