Dave Williams with senior product engineer Harry Kirkwood
A products design engineer has become the first and only employee to have completed 50 years with materials handling brand Yale.
Dave Williams, from Troon, Scotland, is now set to down his tools, bringing to an end his half century of employment as he retires from a career spanning various roles and duties at NACCO Materials Handling Group which designs and manufactures Yale forklifts.
Williams, 65, joined what was then known as Yale and Towne in Wednesfield, Wolverhampton on the 9th August 1965, starting his journey on the company's craft apprentice scheme aged just 15.
The scheme, which initially sparked his interest in materials handling, gave him the platform to practise his skills in a working environment.
"It was quite a coincidence, as I didn't actively seek out Yale; a friend and I walked past their base in Wednesfield, seeing a sign for an apprentice scheme in the window, and that was where my career began," Williams recalls.
"I didn't think for a minute I would be there my entire working life - but I wouldn't change it for anything."
After completing his apprenticeship, Williams took up a position within the engineering department, then moving on to design which was, and still is, where he specialises.
Williams also played a key role in the movement of the Yale plant from Wednesfield to Irvine, Scotland. This emotional and, at times, difficult job proved to be one of the most challenging stages of his career.
Despite loving his work and being a dedicated professional for 50 years, Williams has no regrets about his retirement, with spending quality time among his family and friends being at the heart of his decision.
"The company has treated me well and fairly, (but) now I feel it's just the right time for me. I will sorely miss it, though at this stage in my life I just want to relax. I have lots to keep me busy - I love to play golf, I plan to travel as much as possible and I have even been generously gifted a bicycle as a leaving present from my colleagues!"