Mr Reg Backway joined the staff of Bideford motor firm Heard Bros, in November 1919 as a temporary relief clerk.
He has just retired after having served for almost the whole of the intervening period as company secretary. That ‘temporary’ job lasted 53½ years.
It was in 1921 that he was made company secretary to Heard Bros Ltd. He continued in that position after December 1938, when the company became Brindley’s Garages Ltd, through to last November when the firm merged with N B L Holdings Ltd of Taunton.
Mr Backway, who, with his wife, lives at 25 Elmdale, Bideford, will be 78 in October, and that is something difficult to believe. He attributes his looking no more than middle aged to the fact that since he joined the Amateur Athletic Club as a coxswain around the age of 10 he has mixed with young people.
Mr Backway has seen many developments in the car industry but the biggest he considers is the close attachment there now is to government departments.
What were the popular in the early days when distributors were not so tightly tied to manufacturers? So far as Heards were concerned they were Buick, Ford and Maxwell.
The full Gazette article is dated 11 May 1973