A LONG-SERVING duo who have dedicated more than 75 years to digger giant JCB have been given a fitting send-off.
Dave 'Jolly' Johnson and George Line have celebrated their time with the Rocester-based company and are now heading off to pastures new to enjoy some quiet time with their families in retirement.
A lunch was held to mark the service of the two JCB stalwarts, who have more than 75 years' experience between them.
The careers of Mr Johnson and Mr Line were celebrated at the company's World HQ the day before they packed their bags and made their last ever journey to work. The pair, who joined JCB just six months apart, held a variety of positions with the company before their final roles saw them work together in logistics.
Mr Line, of Uttoxeter, said he was looking forward to walking in the Peak District with his wife Jill when he calls time on his 38 years – having joined up in September 1976.
The 62-year-old said: "It was all done from one shop when I started and now JCB is massive, but the company's values have stayed the same."
Mr Johnson – or 'Jolly' to his colleagues – joined the firm in March 1977 and is now looking forward to a two-month visit to Adelaide, Australia, with wife Joyce later this year to see their daughter Emma.
Reflecting on his career the 63-year-old, who grew up in Foxt but now lives in Uttoxeter, said: "I've had a great career thanks to JCB and its permanently friendly atmosphere – it's been a great place to work. Admittedly JCB has changed a lot over the years, but only for the better."
Andrew Brindley, logistics group leader at JCB, said: "Both George and Jolly are hard-working and it has been a pleasure working with them. They will be sadly missed. We wish them all the best in retirement."