IN THESE days of uncertain futures and short-term contracts it is not often workers stay in the same job for very long.

So when Tom Blatcher retired recently after nearly 50 years service for Western Motor Works in Chiselhurst and Dartford, his colleagues gave him a good send off.

Speaking after his first few days of freedom, Mr Blatcher, 65, said: “I enjoyed my job very much but I'm now looking forward to spending time doing the odd things around the house I've been putting off.”

Father-of two sons, Richard, 35, and Simon, 33, Mr Blatcher is a motor sports fan. He used to help a friend as a racing car maintenance engineer and lives in Court Road, Orpington with his wife, Ann, 63.