After 43 years of planning, I have now decided to retire.
It only seems like yesterday since I was travelling up the M6 to Blackburn in my beat up Ford Anglia, on my first day at S.Reed @ Company. The car radio, hanging from a bracket under the dash board, crackling away to David Bowie, despite the fitting of suppressors to the engine. Come to think of it, it was only yesterday that I was travelling up the M6 to Blackburn. The difference being, this was my last working day, the car was a vast improvement on the Ford Anglia, with perfect radio reception, only disrupted by the nice lady on the SATNAV.
The M6 has been a constant companion on my journey through the world of work. I calculate that I have driven in the region of 1,000,000 miles over the last 43 years, much of them on the bedevilled motorway. I will certainly not be missing the Thelwall Viaduct in my retirement.
After a short spell at Reeds, I joined the industry giant Remploy Ltd to broaden my horizons and lured by the promise of a Company car, whereupon I was placed in clinics in Cambridgeshire, Monday to Wednesday , and the North West on Thursday and Friday. The use of Chesterfield as the base manufacturing facility completed the exercise in imaginative logistics.
I eventually built up a full time clinic base in the Liverpool and Manchester area and in 1977 went self- employed, before re-joining Reed Medical Ltd in 1986.
My long journey (sorry! beginning to sound like a celebrity) has not been without its twists and turns and ups and downs, but having reached the end of the road, I can reflect on an interesting, fulfilling and happy time, thanks to the people I have met along the way. My thanks go out to Peter Reed and colleagues and friends at Reed Medical; to the many Orthotists, Podiatrists and NHS staff I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with over the years; and Prosthetics, Orthotics and Podiatry Department staff at Salford University who have given me the opportunity to pass on some of my knowledge to a new generation of practitioners. Particular thanks to my wonderful and supportive family who have made it all worthwhile.
Going forward (sorry, celebrity speak again), what does the future hold?. Long term, who knows? But the immediate future looks pretty busy. Ann and I have some holidays in the pipeline. I will also be spending more time in the gym. It takes a lot of work to keep this body in shape, especially when the present shape is a sack of spuds. I will also be indulging in my new hobby, so keep an eye out for the new you-tube ukulele sensation.
Ending on a cautionary note, the attached photos show the toll work can take on a young body, so be careful out there.