A 61-YEAR-OLD who has retired after working for 46 years at an Oxfordshire-based haulage company is grateful for the ‘good times’ and friends for life he made on the job.

Tim Norridge, from Kidlington, has left Smith & Sons for good after decades of service at the family-run business.

Smiths supplies aggregates and construction services as well as haulage, plant hire and contracting services for site excavations and groundworks.

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Mr Norridge joined the firm straight out of school as an apprentice in the workshop.

After working his way up, he was a foreman for 15 years before becoming the workshop manager in 1995.

He said: “I’ve seen a lot of changes. I started working with Godfrey Smith - who was the owner - and his son Graham Smith, who sadly died in 1983 of a brain tumour, which was a great loss because he was a wonderful character.

“But it’s been good times, it really has. It’s nice working for a family-run business, you seem to be counted more really.

“On my last day I had mixed emotions.”

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Mr Norridge, who has lived in Kidlington all his life, is moving to Lincolnshire to be closer to his daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

He said he made good friendships and laughs with his colleagues at Smith & Sons, but was looking forward to relaxing.

Speaking of some of the highlights, he said: “I think the early days of working alongside Godfrey and Graham was some good memories because Godfrey, although he was the boss, he was a nice chap and he really looked after his staff.

“Graham and I became good friends out of work. We had some wonderful laughs with him, he was a wonderful character and had a very good sense of humour. All through my working time at Smiths, we’ve had some giggles.

“The highlight was being the workshop manager which actually then gave me more of a personal touch, dealing with the purchase of the lorries, making decisions and actually carrying on the good work that Godfrey taught me.

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“That was a nice part of my career actually getting to run the workshop which I had been in so long. It’s been some really good times.”

Andrew Smith, one of the company owners and directors who has also recently retired, said: “Sorry to see Tim go after 46 years sterling service as he has done a fantastic job over all those years, keeping our trucks on the road to a very high standard.

“He leaves with our thanks for his service and best wishes for a long and enjoyable retirement.”

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