After more than half a century with Street Crane, Brian Wood is bidding his colleagues a fond farewell. The quality inspector, who has spent his whole working life with the crane and hoist manufacturer, is retiring on 9th August 2017, 52 years to the day since he first started at the company.
The 68-year-old joined Street as an apprentice plate welder in 1965, completing his apprenticeship in 1969. He married Linda on Valentine’s Day in 1970 and began his move up the management ladder with a promotion to foreman and subsequently works manager by the early 1990s, a role that he stayed in until 2008. Following a brief illness, Brian returned to work as quality manager, a position he maintained until 2013, when, following a further illness, he became a quality inspector responsible for checking crane components.
Commenting on his retirement, Brian said: “After spending my whole career at Street, I have mixed emotions about leaving. Many things have changed over the years. In those early days, there were about 15 people in the offices and 35 on the shop floor – now there are nearer 200. Peter Street was the boss and very actively involved in every aspect of the business being a practical engineer. These times were the foundation for many friendships that remain to this day.
“I’ve enjoyed watching Street expand and succeed and I’m proud to have played a part in its growth. There’s never been a dull moment and I’ve always been given the chance to learn new things and try new roles which is partly why I’ve stayed here so long.
“It’s going to be strange not coming to the factory anymore and seeing my friends and colleagues but I’m looking forward to relaxing and spending more time with my family.
“I’d like to play a bit more golf and get back into drawing and photography. I’ve also got four grandchildren who will keep me busy.”
Andrew Pimblett, Managing Director at Street Crane said: "Brian’s working life has been exceptional in two respects – firstly his length of service and secondly his popularity.
“It’s easy to forget how much of our lives are spent at work and therefore how important it is to have good relations with our colleagues. I have been at Street for 48 of the 52 years Brian has served and I can honestly say I have not heard a bad word said against him. He has always worked with a smile on his face and his sense of humour was never far away. I know all those who have worked with Brian over the years will join me in wishing him and Linda a long and happy retirement together."
Brian is one of four family members to have worked at Street with his father, brother and son, also spending parts of their careers with the firm.
Chairman, Martin Street added: “It has been a great pleasure to have worked with Brian my entire career as well as his father Les, Brother Tony and son Steven. There have been many times when Brian’s knowledge, determination and wise words have achieved outstanding results. “Fifty-two years is a remarkable achievement, the likes of which will probably not be seen again at Street Crane. My best wishes to Brian and Linda for a long and happy retirement.”
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