FOUR years is a long time to stay in one company, Dave Sach told the Gazette in 1968.

Now, 46 years later, he’s retired after half a century at that same firm!

Dave, 64, who was from Aveley, finished work at construction company HW Wilson, based in South Ockendon, on Friday, March 28..

He trained as a carpenter and has worked in a variety of roles.

He was a site foreman and his last job was overseeing the landscaping of the garden for the community project at Thurrock Hospital.

Dave said it was the family atmosphere that had kept him there – that and “a good governor”.

He said: “I started with the original Wilsons and the type of work has always been different.

“We have done a nice mixture of buildings, not just a block of flats you can knock out in three weeks.”

He said a favourite job was the remodelling of a school in Barking, adding: “It was programmed to last 22 weeks, but we did it in 20.

“The children were standing around watching what we were doing, so we’d talk it through and then they would go back into the classroom and draw pictures of it.”

As well as the family atmosphere, the company is a family affair for Dave, who now lives in Upminster.

His wife, Marian, 64, worked as an accountant, his daughter, Kirsty, 29, is a finance assistant and his son, Martin, 26, is training to be a carpenter.

It won’t be a quiet retirement for Dave. He said: “I’ve got my own workshop so I’m sure I’ll be playing around in that.”