Express & Star

Why retire? Meet the worker celebrating 60 years at Black Country firm

A Black Country man is celebrating six decades of work with the same company.

Barry Loughran celebrates 60 years working at A Perry Ltd in Cradley Heath

Barry Loughran, aged 76, from Old Hill, has worked at A Perry Ltd, on Doulton Road, in Cradley Heath, since August 1959.

Beginning on the production machines, aged 16, he moved onto tool setting and now works as the company's maintenance supervisor, dealing with everything from bricklaying to welding.

He was retiring in 2012 but planning to work part-time – but that never happened.

Barry is now working as the company's maintenance supervisor

He said: "I enjoy the work and it's a real family affair.

"I'm part of the family really, I worked with the grandad [of the current owner], who was the company's founder, then with his two sons and now with his grandson."

Mr Loughran, who has five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, moved to A Perry Ltd, the UK's largest independent manufacturer and supplier of hinges, hardware and ironmongery, when he found out friends of his, working at the company, were earning twice as much as him.

In honor of his 60 years of service, A Perry Ltd threw Mr Loughran a party, on July 27, which was attended by 250 people and which featured a comedian and local band.

WATCH: Barry has no plans to retire

Guy Perry, the company's managing director, said: "The company has been going for 90 years, since 1925, and Barry started when he was 16 – before my time, it is a family business started by my grandfather. Barry effectively started as an apprentice.

"The company has grown over the years and Barry has adapted and seen all the changes. He has always wanted to remain here, he's a fantastic worker and his work ethic is second to none.

"One of the main things was he did not want to retire, he saw all his friends and colleagues retire. He felt that by carrying on it keeps him fit, keeps his mind active. He really enjoys what he does and wants to carry on – and likewise we want him to carry on!"

Steve Bright, A Perry Ltd's senior marketing manager, said: "Barry shows what the company stands for. He eats, sleeps and breathes the company and I've never even known him to take a day off sick.

"He's an incredible character, an incredible personality and very knowledgeable. If there's anything you need to know, you go and see Barry. He's just a great guy."

Barry Loughran, right, in 2012 when he was due to retire, with Guy Perry, operations director; Brian Lockley, works manager; Ernie Perry, chairman; Colin Clews, quality control; and Chris Perry, operations assistant

Despite his decades of work, Mr Loughran has no plans to retire.

He said: "As long as I'm fit, I shall just carry on. People say, put your feet up and see the world, but I've been fortunate enough to travel, I've been to six continents, and I've always enjoyed the work at A Perry Ltd."

Mr Loughran's record shows no sign of being beaten any time soon as the company's next longest-serving employee has only been working there for just over fifty years.

A Perry manufactures and supplies traditional hardware including chain, hinges, door and window furniture, threaded bar and fencing hardware.

Founded more than 90 years ago, in 1925, A Perry is based in Cradley Heath.