National Express West Midlands is celebrating the career of its longest-serving engineer, 87-year-old Len Stanton, after his 72 years with the business.
Mr Stanton started a six-year apprenticeship aged 15 straight from school with what was then the West Bromwich Corporation and has played a key role in maintaining the fleet ever since. He has worked from the West Bromwich garage since 1951.
Talking about the changes he has witnessed over the years, he says: “Things here have definitely changed. We used to start engines with a starting handle! But it’s like an old coat, you just fit it on. Whatever happened, I just got my head down and did my job.”
His experience has earned the admiration of his colleagues at the West Midlands operator. John Guest, a fellow National Express West Midlands engineer, says: “I’ve known Len since 1978 when I started here as a youngster myself. Over the years I’ve learnt a lot from him. He’s a rock – he’s always been there.
“He’s become part of the furniture here at West Brom garage – half the garage was built around him and everybody knows him and what a character he is.”
Nigel Thomas, Fleet Engineer at the West Bromwich garage, who started as an apprentice learning from Len, adds: “Len is a true gentleman and a father figure to everyone that comes to the garage. He’s always willing to share his wisdom and experience with the next generation of engineers.
“I first met him in 1983 when I was an apprentice myself and what I learnt from him was invaluable. He’s always been very friendly, knowledgeable and a real good chap. On behalf of all of us at the garage we would like to say thank you to Len for all of his years of hard work.”