After almost half a century with Vacu-Lug and a journey through the tyre company’s ranks from yardboy to management, a dedicated employee has retired with “plenty of tread left”.
Alan Setchfield was 17 when he first walked through the gates of Grantham’s tyre remoulding plant at Gonerby Hill Foot on May 2, 1966.
Fittingly Alan’s last day was exactly 48 years later, and he said: “I’ve enjoyed the journey and made many friends along the way. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of tread left on this tyre for many miles to come!”
Alan started as a yardboy but quickly moved to the vehicle building rooms and mould shops.
At this point, aged 21, he married Alice with whom he has two sons, Ian and Andrew.
After a spell in the car buffing room, he was promoted to leading hand in the building room, then to shift charge hand before becoming foreman for Duramold with responsibility of 200 personnel.
He was promoted again to senior factory foreman, and when the production manager retired he assumed that position too.
In the late 90s Alan moved away from the factory enviroment to set up and lead a technical support team working alongside national sales, and most recently he has held key positions in sales and fleet contract management.
Vacu-Lug’s Chairman JC Langham said: “On behalf of the board I want to thank Alan for the enormous contribution he has made to Vacu-Lug Tyres over the last 48 years. Alan’s length of service with us is a remarkable achievement.
“We all wish Alan and his wife Alice a long and enjoyable retirement – they certainly deserve it!”
With his grandchildren, Rebecca, Thomas and Luke living nearby, and a garden to attend, Alan will be keeping busy during his retirement and next year the whole family are going on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate his son’s return from the army.