FOR almost 50 years come wind, rain, snow or shine Norman Bell has cycled to his job in the workshop of a major car dealership in Burton.
But Norman’s trip today from his home in Ridgeway Road, Stapenhill, will be his last after he called time on his long career at the Pentagon showroom, in Derby Road, on the same day he celebrates his 65th birthday.
Norman told the Mail he will miss his colleagues in the dealership’s garage where he has worked mending damaged car doors as a panel beater.
He said: “It’s great to think I have done all this time because there are not a lot of people who have done it.
“It’s been a good job which I have really enjoyed.
“I’ve got on with everyone here. There are being very nice about it and saying I deserve a medal.
“It’s going to be a bit strange not working for a few weeks but I’m just going to take it easy.”
Norman has worked at the showroom, which deals in new and used Vauxhall and Peugeot cars, since he signed-up as a 15-year-old apprentice in March 1964.
He said: “I started straight from school when I wanted a manual job.
“I went on a three-month trial and that was it – I have loved it ever since.
“I have just enjoyed building up cars again and making them better.”
But despite his career in the car industry, Norman said he cycled to work everyday as he has never passed his driving test.
He said: “I have cycled in come wind, rain, snow or shine.”
Norman added he planned to spend more time with his older brother Derrick, 76, and pursue his interest in classical music.
His manager Ken North praised Norman’s work ethic and said the workshop ‘will not be the same without him’.
He said: “He has cycled in everyday whatever the weather. We all feel very sorry to see him go.”
Trevor Reeve, owner of the Pentagon Group, said: “Norman has been a really valued member of the team.
“He has never let us down in the all the years he’s been with us.
“I know everyone at the site in Burton are going to miss him massively.”