Retirement is the new part in John’s life

Long serving parts technician John Bruen has retired after almost 46 years with Andover's Ford dealerships.

John started with Pontings, at West Street, in January, 1966, after repairing plant and equipment at a building firm and working at the old Roe Garage in Charlton Road.

When he first applied to Pontings, John was looking for a position as a mechanic but there was nothing available, although a vacancy existed in the parts department.

Ever one for a challenge, John took the job and continued with Pontings, which was eventually bought out by Doves and subsequently Foray Motor Group. John recalls the 70s method of delivery where in many cases parts were taken to the bus station on Bridge Street before, for a few pence, being carried on the Wilts and Dorset bus to neighbouring dealers.

Before the days of microfilm and then computers, huge parts books were used, with hundreds of pages of exploded diagrams for such iconic models as the Cortina, Anglia, and Zephyr / Zodiac - all keenly-sought classics now.

Over his career John has trained many apprentices, passing on his knowledge for future generations in the trade. In recent years, John has served the workshop service staff, providing vital back-up.

Since his early days, "the bloke in the stores" has become a highly skilled operative working with the latest technology and John was top of his game. He will be missed by his colleagues in Foray Motor Group and Andover Ford.

John, who is married with two sons, is looking forward to enjoying retirement at his Southfield Road, Andover, home.

Caption: John Bruen is congratulated on his retirement by Elaine Clarke, group parts marketing manager for Foray Motor Group