A WELL-KNOWN mechanic who has worked with his business partner for almost 40 years is hanging up his overalls for the final time.

Peter Armstrong, who is one half of Armstrong and Nichol, has decided to retire after a total of 60 years in the trade.

He and his business partner, and brother-in-law, Gary Nichol are selling the business, which they started in April 1981, but Gary will remain working under one of its new owners.

Armstrong and Nichol has remained at the same garage on Hencotes throughout the business’ 39 years.

But when the business started to grow, the pair were able to buy some land at Acomb in 1987, where they built a second garage. The premises in Hexham was not big enough for vans and HGVs, so building their own garage at Acomb was ideal.

Now Peter can usually be found working in Hexham while Gary works on the larger vehicles at Acomb.

Upon Peter’s retirement, the Hexham side of the business will be taken over by Joyce Hodgson, under the continued name of Armstrong and Nichol, who will be a familiar face to customers as she has worked in the office in Hexham for around 11 years.

Meanwhile, David Lamb will take over at Acomb, but Gary will stay on as a member of the team there.

Gary said: “There will be a new owner but the business remains the same. People will see the same mechanics and the same staff so it’s business as usual.”

Now aged 75, Peter, who started working as a mechanic at age 15 in 1960, said he felt it was the right time to retire.

Prior to starting up the business with Gary, he had worked for others at garages in Hexham and Stagshaw. He said: “I am looking forward to time off to do what I want to do and have holidays if we can get away.

“The best thing has been the work and the customers. This business relies on people coming back and word of mouth. We’d just like to thank all of the customers who have been loyal over the years.”