Benfield Motor Group chairman John Squires and Ken Searle, business manager at the group (pictured) have reached 50 years of service at the company within a few days of each other.
Joining the then Addison Motors in January 1962, when the average price of a gallon of petrol was just 58 pence and the average cost of a new car was around £500, the two Benfield stalwarts are still going strong and vowing to continue their successful working lives.
Squires, aged 72, who was awarded an OBE for services to the community in 2003, said: “Never in my wildest dreams when I joined our used car centre on Dalton Street, Byker did I expect to be still working in 2012 and be at the helm of the North East’s largest motor group.
“I have some great memories and still thoroughly enjoy working and it’s great to see our family business going from strength to strength.”
Searle, aged 65, said: “It seems a bit crazy really. We’ve both known each other for all these years and it only seems like yesterday. I think we’ve both rubbed off on each other and still feel we can carry on working for many years to come. I still love selling cars and working with some great characters and have many regular customers that date back many years that just keep coming back.”
Benfield chief executive, Mark Squires, son of John, said: “We are all very proud of them both and everything they have achieved in developing our family business over the years. It’s says so much about the company and its family values that we are able to celebrate two key people reaching their 50 year anniversary at the same time.”