A LOYAL employee who has recently had to endure two and a half hours of travelling every day to get to and from work has retired after 40 years.

Bill Richardson worked for Reward Manufacturing Co Ltd for 37 years whilst it was based in Leeds and then instead of taking redundancy just over three years ago he moved with the company to Sackville Street, Skipton.

Mr Richardson, who lives in Morley, Leeds, said he had enjoyed working for the trolley manufacturing company but was looking forward to his retirement.

He said: "I am having a week's holiday, getting a new car and then getting myself a dog to get out of the house.

"I only hope I don't miss it. I would hate to retire and then miss work. I'm hoping to find something to replace it with."

Mr Richardson joined the company just after its first year of operation as assistant manager and has left 40 years later as the company's most experienced welder.

He has worked on Reward Manufacturing's biggest contracts including a whole range of trolleys for P&O's new cruise liner, a prestigious trolley to carry the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and a large order for the RAF.

He said he had watched the company grow in terms of prestige even though there were now very few of the original workforce left. He has also been involved with the training of about 50 young welders who have learnt from him before moving on to other companies.

Managing director Keith Hooper said: "With 40 years experience he is the most experienced welder that we have. He is the most skilful and certainly the quickest."

He added that in all the time Mr Richardson had been an employee he had only had time off through a back injury and would be sadly missed.

Mr Hooper presented him with a cheque from the company to go towards his new car.

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