AN engineer is celebrating after completing 40 years service in the gas industry.

Mick Richards, 55, from Stockton, began his career in the gas industry in 1963 as an apprentice in Darlington.

In 1983 Mr Richards transferred to Viking House, in Thornaby, where he worked until the gas industry was split up, and in 1995 he joined Transco.

Mr Richards said: "I have really enjoyed the past 40 years. It is unbelievable where the time has gone."

Tony Meadley, Mr Richards' manager for the past six years, said: "The level of service he has provided has been second to none, and always with a smile on his face."