A LOYAL mechanic has finally hung up his tool kit after spending half a century working for the same firm.
St Helens man John Stamp was just 16 when he started work at the Hatfields Jaguar dealership in Liverpool on July 31, 1963.
At that time The Beatles had just recorded their debut album – Please Please Me – the first episode of Doctor Who was aired on the BBC and Dr Beeching issued his famous report on the railways.
Starting out as the youngest member of staff, John has since racked up an incredible 50-year stint in the same job before being given a brand new car as his retirement present last week.
Despite advances in technology meaning much of motoring relies on computers – something John readily admits to having little grasp of - there is still plenty of demand for his old-school expertise.
He said: “It’s a real milestone. There are not many people my age who can say they have worked for 50 years for the same company and in the same job.
“Technology has changed everything. These days everything is electronically controlled. In my day we used spanners and took things to pieces but now it’s all done with computers. The other thing is diesel cars, in my era the only things that were diesel were tractors and taxis.
“Now there’s TV in the cars, DAB, telephones and video games in the headrest - it’s unbelievable and fantastic.
“That said, a car always needs servicing and that’s basically what I do. I’ve been very well looked after here at Hatfields and been very happy so I stayed”
Hatfields Jaguar MD Gareth Williams hailed John’s achievement.
He said: “It’s incredible. 50 years service, not just with one company, but also in the same job.
“John has been an outstanding technician. We are very fortunate to have had in John such a talented, well-liked and loyal member of the team.
“We are so proud of John and wish him and his family all the best in his retirement. Truly well deserved!”