A TYNEDALE man is stepping down from a local company after more than four decades of service.

John Bowman, of Corbridge, is celebrating his retirement after spending 45 years with demolition experts Thompsons of Prudhoe.

He joined the company on March 10, 1975 as a spreader driver, and has been a key member of the transport team ever since.

After purchasing a second-hand low loader, John was the natural choice as driver. That loader, named “Herclues”, could move heavy plant equipment up to 20 tonnes - his current low loader, “Titan 3” can move equipment weighing more than 120 tonnes.

A spokesman for the company heaped praise on John for his faultless service over the years. He said: “John’s expertise in operating the low loader is outstanding.

“He has made it look effortless, which is quite the contrary on today’s highways and site access restrictions which can be very challenging. It goes to show he has a keen eye and the technical skills to get the job done, safely and without issue - skills he frequently reminds us all of!

“John has been a loyal and hardworking employee with an unblemished record throughout his time at Thompsons.

“John has a great sense of wit and humour with everyone throughout the company and has never been one not to say what he thinks.

“Over the last 45 years, he has seen Thompsons of Prudhoe grow in size and strength. Without employees like John, we would not be the company we are today.”