Stoneham Kitchens' craftsman, Ron Taylor, celebrates his 80th birthday with no plans to retire from his happy working life yet.
Craftsman Ron Taylor who works full time at Sidcup-based bespoke kitchen and furniture manufacturer, Stoneham Plc, celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday - and has no plans to retire just yet.
Part of the Stoneham production team and a time-served bench joiner, Ron has well over 60 years experience and has been in the furniture trade all his working life, with the exception of a short stint in the army for National Service in the 1950s.
Ron works at the Stoneham Mill Plant in Footscray, Sidcup from 8am till 5pm, Monday-Friday helping produce handcrafted bespoke kitchens. He still does overtime when he can, squeezing in shopping and housework at the weekend. "I feel very lucky I'm in good health at this stage in my life. I'm happy here; a day's work is easy enough for me," he says. "As long as I can still get out of bed, I'll continue to work. It keeps me active and I enjoy working with younger people."
Ron joined Stoneham in October 2000 at the age of 67 and is renowned for his attendance, with a 100% record during his time there. He takes an active role in the company, including mentoring those on work experience from local schools.
As Stoneham approaches its own milestone - 150 years next year - Managing Director, Adrian Stoneham, says, "I wish we'd discovered Ron many years earlier. His experience, productivity and overall work ethic are an inspiration to all younger members of our production team; they regularly pick up valuable tips from him."
Born in Shortlands, Bromley, Ron now lives locally in Abbey Wood. Widowed, he has a son who lives in Spain with his two grandsons. On moving there himself, he says, "It's too hot in the summer, plus my passion outside work is dog racing, which isn't very big in Spain."