Roy Le Tissier set up in business as R. H. Le Tissier in June 1952, aged just 20, after his former employer emigrated to New Zealand.
He has built a successful building company, which specialises in woodwork and suspended ceilings, employing a dozen people, many of them serving for decades.
But a few weeks ago, aged 83, Mr Le Tissier finally stepped down from day-to-day involvement with the business, passing it on to Kevin Le Tissier – no relation – who will now run his own company, trading as R. H. Le Tissier.
‘You’ve got to stop and think of one’s age,’ he said. ‘At 83 it’s time to retire, not when you fall off your perch. I wanted to keep the firm going and for the staff to keep their jobs. If I’d just closed the doors they would have all had to look to go their own ways.’
Mr Le Tissier said that he was proud to have been able to hand over a business in good health after the decades of trading.
‘It’s run well for 63 years, naturally it’s hard work, especially when you start, building it up, but it’s been very rewarding.’
A few weeks of ‘retirement’ have seen Mr Le Tissier spend some time in the office, finalising the books with his backroom staff of wife Marion and daughter Fiona, and he still sometimes pops into the workshop and offers his help for an hour or so, often running some materials over to a site in the van.
‘I don’t come in and bother them, but I like to offer if there’s anything they need me for.’