Frank Hellyer, director of Covers Timber and Builders Merchants retired on Thursday September 25 after working in the timber trade for 66 years.
He started in the timber trade in February 1942 as a 14 year old boy digging pits and concreting foundations for new sawmill machinery to be installed at the Hornet, Chichester.
By 1965, Hellyer had been sent all over England and Germany looking at modern sawmill machinery and how to operate it. Because of his knowledge, he helped build three sawmills and co-wrote a training manual for local colleges.
Reflecting on his time at Covers, Hellyer said: “The company started off with one depot and now have 14. Production speeds have increased enormously, fork lift trucks, hiab lorry cranes and automatic feeding machines have taken most of the hard work out of timber production”.
He was made an honorary member of the UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) in May, the first time that this has happened.
220 people from staff, suppliers and customers attended his retirement party, at which he was presented with a teak garden chair and a unique Iroko table made by one of his staff.
Covers wish Frank a long and happy retirement and say that the place will not be the same without him.