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Motor dealership employees clock up 60 years of service

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Chris Pobjoy, Dee Theobald and Lesley Jones of Pebley BeachChris Pobjoy, Dee Theobald and Lesley Jones of Pebley BeachThree employees at Swindon motor dealer Pebley Beach have clocked up an impressive 60 years of service between them.

Company accountant Lesley Jones, assistant accountant Dee Theobald, and warranty clerk Chris Pobjoy all celebrate 20 years with the firm this month.

Lesley and Dee started on the same day in the summer of 1998. Lesley was hired by managing director Dominic Threlfall as an accountant for the Suzuki car dealership at Wroughton, while Dee was recruited to do the books for the Esso filling station on the same site.

When the petrol station closed, Dee’s responsibilities changed to support Lesley in the expanding car division. Lesley and Dee have been friends ever since.

"We returned to work because our children – who are the same age – had started school," said Lesley. "They've grown up together, and Dee and I have been friends ever since."

And the company put the pair through training with the Association of Accounting Technicians to their professional qualifications.

"The past 20 years has been great," said Lesley. "Dom is a good boss to work for, and our colleagues are lovely people."

Warranty clerk Chris Pobjoy also had good things to say about his boss. Suffering ill health he was made redundant when biotech company Monsanto closed its Wroughton operation.

Chris joined Pebley Beach as a cashier in the petrol station, and soon found himself as stock buyer for the shop.

When the petrol station closed, Dom offered Chris a role in the car dealership handling warranty claims – a job that requires precision and strict adherence to manufacturer criteria.

"Dom took me on despite my health issues and allowed me to work flexi time," said Chris. "I joke that because I'm part time I've only done 10 years!"

Gifts were exchanged on the day they celebrated their anniversary. Lesley made Dee a card while Dee knitted Lesley and Chris miniature dolls of themselves.

The company has also marked the occasion with a couple of personal gifts for each of them.

“Lesley, Dee and Chris are valued members of the team, and it's been a pleasure to work with them all for 20 years," said Dom. "How they have put up with me for 20 years I’ll never know!"