End of the road for Rasen mechanic Jeff
Jeff Stephenson rolled down the shutters on his Pasture Lane workshop for the final time on Friday, and is looking forward to spending more time with his family.
Jeff said: “I can honestly say I have never had a bad customer in all the time I have worked.
“I would like to thank all my customers over the years - some of them go all the way back to when I started out on my own; some even from back when I was 15 years old.”
As a 15-year-old, Jeff started his working life with C E Rands at Osgodby, where he spent the next 29 years.
It was a sad day when, after 29 years, he was given 12-weeks notice as the firm closed.
Jeff said: “I didn’t know what I was going to do.
“I saw a job for a milkman so applied for that.”
However, wife Gill thought he would be wasting his talent and with her encouragement, Jeff started his own mechanic business.
He said: “Some very kind friends, Jill and John Emerson at Tealby, offered me a farm workshop, so Gill and some other friends set about clearing it for me.
“It worked out well - better than I expected really.
“On April 1, 2005, I moved premises to here in Pasture Lane.
“I always said I would keep going until Gill retired.
“She took early retirement last year and I have kept on working, but now it is the time to stop.
“Things have changed a lot over the years.
“The first car I worked on was a Ford Anglia and I have to say, I don’t really want to get into electric cars.
“Having your own business is hard work and it meant I missed out a lot of my kids growing up.
“I don’t want to miss out on the grandchildren, so it felt right to retire now.”
Jeff’s wife Gill has also been an integral part of the business over the years, doing the book-keeping and a lot of the paperwork.
She said: “It has been hard work, but rewarding.”