50 years combined service

Staff members Steve Doyle and Sheila Connor of Tom Chandley Limited are celebrating after each clocking up 25 years of service with the Manchester-based oven-manufacturing specialists.

Managing director Eric Dyson held a joint presentation, and gave Connor a watch and Doyle a donation to Willow Wood, a local hospice, on his request. Doyle is 63 and joined Tom Chandley's in 1981 as an electrical engineer. He said: "It is the constant challenge of the job which I enjoy the most and I am always touched by the generosity of people when I go on visits. I have serviced ovens in prisons, hospitals, offices and even a Jewish private residential home. It's a real eye-opener to be in a different environment and see another way of life."

Connor is 58 and joined as a service clerk. She advanced to service administration manager, looking after engineering contracts and tailoring contracts for large supermarket chains down to small bakeries. She chose to step down from her role eight years ago to focus solely on managing the contracts.

It was only recently she and Doyle discovered they started working at the company on the same day, and their intended retirement dates are also likely to be within a month of each other in 2008.

Connor said: "Tom Chandleys remains a family business but it has adapted to the changing times. It's the variety of work over the years and the friendly staff which has kept me here."