Century of experience retires from valve firm

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Three members of staff with almost 110 years of experience with the Sheffield-based President Engineering Group have retired.

Machine shop operator Roy Collins clocked up 46 years with the group, making him its longest-serving employee ever and clocked out on the same day of the same month that he joined the company.

Kevin Fretwell, technical director of President’s Bestobell Valves subsidiary, is leaving the group after 40 years and Richard Eaton, sales office manager for its Conflow business, has retired after 23 years.

Mr Fretwell, who started working as an apprentice engineer with the National Coal Board and joined Bestobell in 1973 played a key part in designing many of its original cryogenic valves. He was actively involved in a ground-breaking deep sea recovery project, to use the latest valve technology to recover cargo from the seabed.