IT was the end of an era when Paul Jenyon retired from a construction company after 50 years.

Three days after leaving school at the age of 15, he began a plumbing apprenticeship with HH Smith and Sons Co Ltd, based off Bury Old Road in Whitefield.

Now the 65-year-old, from Radcliffe, is set to enjoy his retirement and renew his membership of Bury Golf Club.

After passing his City & Guilds examination in plumbing, Paul began his career inthe days when houses had lead hot and cold pipework throughout with lead flashings on roofs and walls. The method of transport was hand carts and all of today’s mechanisation was a distant dream.

As times changed, so did Paul’s role. He worked at various dye works and mills around Bury which were numerous at the time and became proficient in pipe threading. As gas regulations changed he was required to take further exams to become a qualified gas technician.

During his time with the company, he trained many apprentices with three still being employed by HH Smith as fully fledged gas technicians.

Managing director David Smith said: “Paul has been a tremendous asset to the company and he will be sorely missed. In his time he has been a role model to others with his hard work, attitude and commitment. If anyone deserves to spend his remaining years on the golf course then it is Paul. We wish him all the best”.

To mark Paul’s retirement, a presentation was held at the Coach and Horses Inn in Whitefield, followed by a restaurant meal.

HH Smith, which employs a 95- strong staff, carries out works to schools, churches and commercial buildings throughout the North West. The business was responsible for the £3.5 million extension at Holy Cross College in Bury, and recently supplied labour for the BBC TV programme DIY SOS when it carried out a house renovation in Bury.