JCB employee Alan Slaney has entered the JCB record books as he bade farewell to colleagues after notching up a magnificent 50 years’ service with the company.
He joined straight from school in August 1960 at the tender age of 15 and bows out today having become the company’s long-ever serving employee – beating the previous record of 49 years and two months.
Site Engineer Alan, who is part of the Site Services team responsible for the maintenance of JCB’s factories and premises, said: "When I walked through the doors all those years ago I never thought I’d be here for so long. It’s all gone so quickly and it’s nice to know I’ve set a company record for long service."
JCB Chief Executive Alan Blake led the tributes to Alan at his retirement presentation. He said: "Alan is one of the unsung heroes of JCB. Roles like his are critical to keeping the business running smoothly and it’s people like Alan who have helped lay down the foundations of the successful business we see today."
Alan followed in his father Bertram’s footsteps when he joined JCB and was taken on as an apprentice electrician, staying with the company as it expanded from one factory in a former cheese factory in Rocester to 18 global plants.
Great-grandfather Alan, 65 and from Cheadle, said: "JCB has been very good to me and I’m proud to have been a part of what the company has achieved and is still achieving. When I started here, the site, which used to be an old cheese factory, was nothing like it is now – and there was no lake. Now it is one of the most impressive company headquarters in the country.
"My dad, Bertram Slaney, started at JCB on the assembly line in February 1960 and when I left school I decided to follow in his footsteps. So on August 15 of that year I walked into the factory at Rocester with every intention to join him on the factory floor. However, a foreman spotted me, said he needed a new apprentice electrician, and the rest is history."
Since then he has gone on to hold a number of roles from foreman to supervisor to energy management officer – but never left the Rocester site.
Alan has many fond memories of the people he has come into contact with, no more so than company Founder Joe Bamford, affectionately known as Mr JCB.
He said: "Mr JCB was a genius and I don’t use that word lightly. He had the energy and vision to build this company up and he liked nothing better than removing his jacket, rolling his sleeves up and working long hours alongside us.
"I’ve seen lots of changes and all positive ones I am glad to say. People have come and gone and I miss quite a few of them but I still work with the best bunch of colleagues I could ever ask for.
"However, now I’m retiring I don’t think there will be much rest for me. I have five grandchildren, a great grandchild, I breed birds and my wife, Margaret, has got plenty of DIY jobs lined up for me too!"