Pensioner celebrates 90th birthday at DIY store… and he still refuses to give up work

March 14, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

A hard-working pensioner has celebrated his 90th birthday at the DIY store where he still works – after 76 years of continous employment.

Dedicated Albert Billington, 90, started work aged just 14 and has refused to give up ever since.

And despite racking up hundreds of thousands of hours Albert has only taken a handful of sick days.

Albert Billington, 90, is greeted by colleagues Kirsty Stokes (left) and Lin Levan as he celebrates 76 years of employment

Albert Billington, 90, is greeted by colleagues Kirsty Stokes (left) and Lin Levan as he celebrates 76 years of employment

On Wednesday the spritely pensioner celebrated his 90th birthday surrounded by colleagues and friends at B&Q, where he has worked as a Store Greeter for 10 years.

Albert said: “As long as they’ll have me I’ll stay, I have no plans to give up my job at all, I love it.

“I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, I need to keep busy, I need to be doing something.

“I love my job, it’s great to meet so many new and different people. It is the best job because you get to talk to everyone.

“People recognise me outside of work, when I’m on the bus, when I’m in the library, it’s lovely.

“The same customers keep coming in when they know I’m working too. I love that.”

Albert, who was born in Battesea, London, first began working in 1937 as an apprentice printer in London setting the type face out for his boss.

He served seven years as a trainee before he enrolled in the army as an engineer for the field company during the Second World War.

His service saw him sail to Palestine for three and a half years where he worked diligently fixing army vehicles and assisting with the war effort.

In 1945 Albert returned back to Britain where he continued his stint as a printer.

Duty Manager Gerard Wood greets Albert after he arrived for work in a Bentley

Duty Manager Gerard Wood greets Albert after he arrived for work in a Bentley

He worked for a number of different companies and national newspapers in London and the South East, including 21-years’ service for Frost Ltd, where he was employed as a lino type face operator.

The grandfather’s final printing job came in 1984, when he worked for national newspaper the Guardian, until he was made redundant six years later.

But instead of retiring Albert, then 67, refused to give up and applied for a job at his local B&Q in Sutton, Surrey, where he worked as a car park attendee for 13 years.

He then settled in Longwell Green, Bristol, and took up his current job as greeter, where he works two four hour shifts a week, a position he has held for 10 years.

The married father-of-two said: “I worked in many jobs after the war, I held one job for 21 years.

“I did tend to moves jobs a lot though, I would get a job for their busy season and then when that ended, scramble and move on to the next.

“It was great, I used to meet so many people and get to know a lot of different things.”

He added that he believed his longetivity was down to his daily exercise and walking routines which kept him feeling young.

“I like being busy, I do a lot of walking and exercising every morning so I can get ready for the day”, he said.

“My mother lived until she was 100 so it’s in my blood. We are going to have a real celebration when I reach that age.

“My wife Catherine and I eat healthily too, I think that helps a lot. We have salad and vegetables every day.”

Staff and customers, who have got to know the friendly pensioner over the years, celebrated his mile-stone birthday by presenting Albert with a custom designed cake.

They also gave him a one-of-a-kind silver B&Q apron, complete with an “I’m 90 badge”.

Adam Lambert, the store manager, said: “We’re excited to be able to share in the excitement of Albert’s big day.

“To still be working at aged 90 is no mean feat and we’re proud to have him in our team here at Longwell Green.

“Albert is a much loved colleague who does a great job greeting our customers and passing on his home improvement knowledge.

“He really is a shining example of the fact that age is really just a number and that you’re only as old as you feel.”

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