TWO members of the team at Bridgwater Ford have retired after clocking up 99 years in the sector between them.

Ken Wilkins, the parts supervisor, started at White Brothers 50 years ago this month while service advisor Dave Vowles joined the team at Valley Motors in Taunton, which became part of White Brothers - as a technician 49 years ago.

The firm eventually became part of Foray Motor Group, which operates ten Ford outlets in the West Country.

Ken and Dave have both received engraved gold watches to mark their long service to the area’s Ford owners.

Ken’s presentation was conducted by Foray Group parts director Howard Jenkins who said: “It’s hard to replace such experienced team members and Ken will be sorely missed by the team in the main Foray parts distribution centre.

Paul Allonby, service manager for both Bridgwater and Taunton Ford, said: “Dave has trained many people who have gone on to great careers.

“He is an absolute stickler for the fine detail and prides himself in being fully prepared for every possible situation.

“Customers loved him, too – he knows literally everyone on first name terms.”

Kevin Graves, service director for Foray Motor Group, presented Dave with his watch to mark his retirement.

He said: “Dave has been a real asset to all the companies he has worked for and we will all miss him, both colleagues and customers.”

Ken is now going to spend more time working on his smallholding while Dave, with a reputation for being the best dressed man at Foray, is all set to take equal care of his lawn’s appearance at his Creech St Michael home near Taunton, as well as spending time fishing and with his two grandchildren.