Doing odd jobs for a pal led to a new career for pensioner Peter Mitchell.
He was 63 and retired from George Palmer Stevedores at Grangemouth Docks when businessman Malcolm Allan asked if he would like to come and work for him.
That was in December, 1989, and Peter, who celebrates his 90th birthday next Friday, has been there ever since!
On Tuesday his outstanding employment record as maintenance man with Scotland’s leading family butcher’s Malcolm Allan was recognised at a special presentation.
After receiving an engraved watch from director James Allan, Peter, from Morar Drive, Langlees, reflected on his time with the company that stretches over quarter of a century - and revealed it was “sheer chance” he joined in the first place.
He said: “I’ve never been one to sit around the house and was doing some handyman stuff for a friend who lived next door to Malcolm in Bonnybridge. I was looking after the garden and general odd-jobs most days when Malcolm said I could work for him at the bakery in Tamfourhill.
“I’m pretty good with machinery, so anything that broke down I would have a go at fixing. Then I would go around the shops repairing things. I learned a lot as I went along. Over the years I’ve also done plenty of painting and tiling, and knocked down my fair share of walls at Tamfourhill in my time too.”
Peter served with the Black Watch and worked for Falkirk Council before becoming a docker, but admits the “best times” have been with Malcolm Allan.
“Malcolm was a gentleman and I don’t think I’ve ever had a cross word with the boys, James and Gordon. They have always treated me as part of the family.”
When Tamfourhill closes and the bakery operation switches to the main production centre in Larbert in December, Peter will finally ‘call it a day’.
“That will be it for me then, but I have two married daughters living not too far away and will have their gardens to keep me busy.”
Tuesday was also a special day for Craig Maxwell (21), from Brightons, who is the latest employee to complete the company’s modern apprenticeship scheme. The former Braes High pupils received his certificate of merit from James Allan.