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Elgin man Mike Allan retires from William Wilson Plumbers’ Merchants after an incredible 50 years

A MAN who spent 50 years keeping Moray’s plumbers happy has finally retired, as he says current employees “have never had it so easy”.

Plumbing manager, Mike Allan, retires after 50 years with the company… Picture: Beth Taylor.

Elgin’s Mike Allan left William Wilson Plumbers’ Merchants at the Pinefield Industrial Estate no longer an employee, on Friday, July 29, after a half-century at the firm.

Rising through the ranks during his long stint, Mike started in the warehouse loading lorries and left as the firm’s plumbing manager.

Mike said: “I came in the back door, loading and unloading lorries and putting stuff away into stock and that, and moved through the company from there.

“I’ve always just served the plumbers, looked after their needs, kept them fed and watered and kept them coming back.

“That’s about all you can do with them, really.”

Starting at William Wilson’s in 1972, the business has changed a huge amount during his time there.

Speaking on the afternoon of his departure, still taking constant phone calls from plumbers and colleagues, Mike said: “I started long before computers and laptops and mobile phones and it was a different job.

“It is a lot easier now than it was then, I think.

“They have never had it so easy! The job back in the day – ah come on – much much harder.

“Communication is a lot simpler today like, with computers and mobile phones and all that.”

To mark Mike’s departure, colleagues past and present came together to give him an impressive spread of gifts.

The basket of Mike’s leaving presents includes whisky, in bottles of all shapes and sizes, as well as plenty of cards and good wishes.

Plumbing manager, Mike Allan, retires after 50 years with the company... Picture: Beth Taylor.
Plumbing manager, Mike Allan, retires after 50 years with the company… Picture: Beth Taylor.

Mike said: “We have had a wee collection and a few of the customers have dropped some off, so it has been nice.”

Throughout his time at the firm, Mike said that he has met more characters than he could possibly mention.

Mike said: “There are probably plenty of highlights in terms of stories and characters, but how can you quantify them over a 50-year period?

“Overall it has been really good, it has been enjoyable.

“A really good bunch of people and the plumbers in the area are really good fun, I will miss the crack.

“There are hundreds of people that stand out, just generally with the coworkers I have worked with over the years here, they have been really good fun.

“A lot of the photos around me just now will testify to that.”

Moving forwards, Mike is looking for new ways to fill his time but said he has no interest in looking back.

Mike said: “I’m not sure, I have a couple of holidays planned and I will just take it from there.

“I play bowls and a touch of snooker so that should fill my working days now.

“Time moves on, nothing stands still.

“And I am getting away from here.

“I can’t really do much else like that.”

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