A LONG-established Hexham mechanics has begun a new chapter under new leadership.

Joyce Hodgson has taken over ownership of Armstrong and Nichol, on Hencotes, following the retirement of Peter Armstrong, after 60 years in the trade.

Joyce has worked at the garage for 11 years, and said that the decision to take over was an easy one.

She said: “We’ve been full of busy, I can’t complain. We’re open as normal, continuing with all our existing customers and welcoming new ones.

“I’ve worked here for 11 years, mainly doing accounts but as a bit of a Jack of all trades too. I’ve got to know the customers so it was a natural progression that I would take over when Peter retired.

“I absolutely love it.”

She is joined at the Hexham site by mechanics Ashley Crozier and Peter Makepeace.

Ashley has been at Armstrong and Nichol for more than 20 years, and has experience working on all types of makes and models.

Peter Makepeace will also be familiar to some in Hexham, as a former employee at the Tyne Mills Mazda and Isuzu.

Joyce added: “We don’t have the dealer in Hexham now, so people assume they have to go further afield to get those vehicles serviced.

“We’re here to support people closer to home so they don’t have to travel such a distance with those types of car.”

Another long-term employee of Armstrong and Nichol, Mark Armstrong, remains a part of the team.

Joyce added: “Mark is doing well on his journey of recovery, and he is missed by all his colleagues and customers alike.

“We’re a team here, and we’re all part of it.”

Joyce is currently busy bringing the business up to date. She is in the process of creating a new office space, has begun to create an online presence, and is switching record keeping to a more digital format, as opposed to the current handwritten system.