After almost half a century of service with the same firm Peter Townsend has retired as a partner at chartered accountants Duncan & Toplis.
Peter steps down as Chairman of the company 47 years after he first joined the Grantham office as an 18-year-old school leaver.
He was Managing Partner of Duncan & Toplis for eight years from 2004 and will continue in his role as Managing Director of sister company Castlegate Financial Management. He is also a director of Springfield Park Properties Ltd.
“I took my A-levels at the King’s School in Grantham in 1967 and joined Duncan & Toplis straight from school,” he recalls. “I took my exams and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1972.
“When I began my career the practice only had around 30 employees, so it’s approximately ten times bigger now and ranks number 36 in the league table of firms.
“I can’t take all the credit for that but in my time as Managing Partner we built new offices in Lincoln, Spalding and Boston and acquired practices in Spalding, Louth and Melton Mowbray.”
Much has changed in the 47 years since Peter first picked up an accounts book.
“It’s changed beyond all recognition,” he says. “My first job was at Sleaford adding up books of account in my head – pounds, shillings and pence in those days. If I’d known what my first job entailed I might not have accepted it!
“People think accountancy is all about numbers but it’s also about dealing with people. Over the years I’ve very much enjoyed working with the clients, building up good relationships with them and helping them succeed in their businesses.”
Peter has three children and three grandchildren and lives in Grantham. His second son, Andrew, is Managing Director of sister firm Datcom, so continuing the family link.
In his retirement he intends to spend more time enjoying gardening, squash, tennis, art galleries, music and architecture as well as more time with his wife Judith who he says has been a great support since they married nearly 40 years ago.
“I’m sure the firm is in a good position to go forward,” he said. “Duncan & Toplis is in very safe hands. I wish the partners and staff every success and look forward to the business’s centenary in 2025!”