A MECHANIC is to hang up his tools after more than 30 years working for the same family firm.

John Rochester spent his 65th birthday working his last shift at Darlington car dealership Sherwoods after a working lifetime in the industry.

The company estimates that during his career Mr Rochester has changed 150,000 litres of oil, 30,000 oil filters and checked a quarter-of-a-million tyres.

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Mr Rochester, from Richmond, in North Yorkshire, started out as a trainee with Sherwoods when it was based in Grange Road, Darlington, and stayed with the firm, looking after their commercial vehicles.

He will now spend his retirement Margaret, his wife of 33 years, indulging in his love of gardening, particularly growing his own vegetables.

Mr Rochester said: “It has been really great. I will miss Sherwoods, especially the friendly banter.”

Sherwoods managing director, Alasdair MacConachie, said: “This occasion is something very special to celebrate. John has been a great friend and colleague and his length of service with us has been a magnificent achievement.”