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Lowestoft car mechanic at Great Yarmouth body shop retires after 50 years

PUBLISHED: 14:05 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:05 23 June 2017

Branch manager Chris Browne, company chairman Colin Joseph  Baldwin, Keith Evans and work colleague Kevin Fenn.
Picture: Anthony Carroll

Branch manager Chris Browne, company chairman Colin Joseph Baldwin, Keith Evans and work colleague Kevin Fenn. Picture: Anthony Carroll

Archant

A car mechanic has finally hung up his tools after spending 50 years repairing vehicles.

Keith Evans spent his last day in the car repair trade at the East Bilney Coachworks’ paint and body centre in Great Yarmouth.

Since July 1967 he has worked for a succession of car repair firms that ended up finally being owned by the family firm whose depot is in Fenner Road and specialises in crash repairs.

On Friday the father-of-two from Lowestoft was given a fond farewell by his 20 work colleagues and company chairman Colin Joseph Baldwin, who presented him with a golden hammer.

Mr Evans, 64, first started his career as a mechanic before moving on to be a panel technician.

Firms he worked for included Watsons, Thurlow Nunn and Warwick Shubrook and he transferred from company to company in the area.

He said the big difference in the motor repair trade now was the increasing move for cars to be glued and screwed together instead of being welded and while he enjoyed working 45 hours a week he did say it was “hard work”.

His work shop colleague Kevin Fenn has known him for 27 years and worked right along side him until Friday.

He said: “Keith is a hard worker and knows all there is to know about his trade and gives advice to the others if they want it.”

Branch manager Chris Browne also paid tribute to the long-serving mechanic.

Mr Browne said: “I think it is phenomenal to see someone work 50 years in the same trade and it is great to see Keith do it.

“He is a real asset and other staff respect him immensely.”

Mr Baldwin, who set up his family-run business in 1975 in East Bilney, said: “I think it a real achievement. “He has shown great dedication and skill over the years.

“I feel honoured he has carried on with his values with us.

“We all wish him well for the future.”

The retiree said he would be enjoying holidays with his wife, including a cruise to China.

For Mr Evan’s leaving celebrations all the staff posed for a photograph with him and the company chairman and enjoyed a buffet to help see him off.

East Bilney Coachworks operates across six sites in Norfolk, repairing 300 vehicles a week.

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