A PAIR of experienced mechanics who have worked together for 25 years are jacking it in and setting their sat-nav for retirement.
Gerald Bielby and Dave Smith will close up for the last time tonight at Gerald Bielby Car Repairs in Maltby, which they are handing over to Harworth mechanic Martin Peace.
Dave (66) said he and Gerald (65) had spent many happy years taking engines apart and putting them back together but times had changed and the industry standard these days was to “replace rather than repair”.
He added: “Cars are more like computers nowadays; there’s a lot more electrics.
“Our garage is full of old parts that have been here for years and years, including an old mangle we’ve used to wipe the cars down.”
Gerald learned his trade at college in Dinnington, before completing his City and Guilds at Rotherham College, while Dave trained on the job at J.T. Rogers in Lincoln Street, Northfield.
After working at other garages, the pair teamed up in 1992 to launch their own business.
Asked why they had kept going so long, Dave said: “I think trust is the main thing. People know we are not going to rip them off and we will treat them correctly.”
Dave said the finest car he had been asked to work on was a vintage Citroen from the 1940s which needed a gearbox repair, adding: “It was an absolute classic. We had to treat it really carefully and I was glad to hand the keys back.”
Dave plans to volunteer at Rotherham Hospital in his retirement.
Gerald said he was looking forward to walking his chocolate labrador and playing with his three-year-old grandson. He will also be taking home the garage scene, complete with a pair of knitted mechanics, produced by his sister 20 years ago.
“There was a dog which used to come into the garage for a biscuit and then go to a butcher’s shop for a bone,” said Gerald. “The dog is on there, too. I’ll find a place for it at home.”
Gerald and Dave, who plan to mark their retirement with a drink at Maltby Miners’ Welfare Club tonight, thanked all their customers for their loyalty and wished Mr Peace every success.