IT’S the end of an era for a Wiltshire man who has retired after spending more than 50 years working in the same location.

Ian Robertson is stepping down as manager of the BP Lodge Service in West Ashton Road in Trowbridge having served three generations of some local families.

Mr Robertson, 72, who lives at Yarsbrook Farm, West Ashton, has worked at the service station since 1968, initially serving fuel and changing vehicle batteries and tyres.

After working there for a few years, he went into partnership with its then owner, and later took over the business and ran it for more than 12 years.

But during the 1980s recession, trade collapsed and Mr Robertson was forced to sell to David and Janet Coleman, who kept him on as manager.

They later sold the garage to Ed Seaton, who owned several garages, including some in Bournemouth and Yeovil.

Mr Robertson said: "Mr Seaton has just sold the business to Gardner Garages Ltd of Cheltenham which now has about six sites.

"I thought it was time to retire, although they have put me on stand by if needed."

Gardner Garages is a family-owned business selling fuel and convenience store goods.

Mr Robertson said: "If I had been 20 years younger, I would have stayed on but I have got to draw the line somewhere.

"I am planning to spend more time with my wife Jean on our smallholding.

"We have ducks, geese, chickens and a grumpy old cat called Torsy, and I am on the West Ashton Parish Council and Jean is a churchwarden at St John's Church.

"I am sad to leave and my last day on Friday was quite emotional. But I have worked with some fantastic people over the years.

"There are a lot of negatives about Trowbridge but the one thing is good about it is there are some lovely people. That is the one thing I will miss.

"I'd like to stay thank you to all the customers, past and present, and all the staff. I wish them all the very best for the future."