He began work at Leeds company Roberts Mart as a 16-year-old apprentice back in the autumn of 1970.
And now Alan Wintersgill is bidding a fond farewell to the very same firm after clocking up 48 years of unbroken service there.
He is retiring from his job as a print supervisor with the flexible packaging manufacturer, where he started out earning the princely sum of £5 a week.
Reflecting on the changes he has seen since arriving at the family-run business as a teenager straight from Lawnswood’s Leeds Modern School, 64-year-old Alan told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I didn’t know what to expect back then. Certainly, I didn’t expect to spend my whole career at Roberts Mart.
“But I’m glad I did – I can’t think of a nicer, more friendly company than Roberts Mart, a company that has always looked after its employees.
“Of course the company has changed massively over the 48 years I’ve been here, due to new technology, but the way staff have been treated has not.
“When I first arrived, we did a lot of packaging by hand and there was no polythene.
“Now, thanks to heavy investment in state-of-the-art printing presses, everything is very mechanised.
“We moved premises, too, from the old factory in East Street to our brand-new premises in Thornes Farm Way, but the family atmosphere remained.
“Family is an appropriate word, as I met my wife Jill here and my son Lee works here too.”
Paying tribute to his colleagues at the firm, he added: “Whoever you are, whatever your role, people matter at Roberts Mart and that does make for a dedicated workforce who will rally round when the going gets tough. I should know, having survived four recessions.”
Roberts Mart chairman John Roberts presented Alan with an engraved clock as a ‘thank you’ for his tireless efforts.
He said: “I shall always be grateful for Alan’s commitment and loyalty to our firm, his contribution to our growth over the years has proved immeasurable.
“He has successfully worked in most of our production departments and as a result his knowledge gained has proved to be his strength. I shall miss his friendship and experience.”
Alan, who lives in the Cookridge area of the city, is planning to spend his well-earned retirement relaxing with his family and watching Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club.