Builder retires after half-a-century with the same firm

Keith Bainbridge and Hugh Watson at John Gregory and Sons in Rothbury
Keith Bainbridge and Hugh Watson at John Gregory and Sons in Rothbury

A builder, who has spent 50 years working for the same firm has hung up his hard hat for the last time.

Keith Bainbridge was employed as a labourer with Gregory and Sons in Rothbury in the early 1960s.

He started the job straight from school, working under Len Gregory, who ran the business at the time.

Enjoying the work, he quickly progressed and soon became a skilled and much-respected tradesman.

He has a reputation for being tidy and quietly diligent – which some may say are unusual and valued qualities in the building industry.

Over the years Keith has seen numerous changes take place, but he believes that things are a lot easier than they used to be.

He said: “The work isn’t as heavy and the vans start on cold mornings.”

Hugh Watson, who has run Gregory and Sons since Len died in 2010, said: “Keith can always be relied on to turn out consistently high-quality work and has never let his standards drop.

“Although Gregory and Sons has been trading continuously for in excess of 120 years, I am pretty sure he is the longest-serving employee the firm has ever had.

“He will be a great miss to the firm and our customers, a tradesman with his level of skills is very hard to find these days.

“We wish Keith all the best in his retirement and hope he will call in from time to time to keep the youngsters right.”