WORKAHOLIC Steve Waddington was joined by family, friends and work colleagues last Friday to celebrate 25 years' service at Callender Aeroparts.
Steve of Meadowside Avenue, Clayton-le-Moors, held a bash at Moor Street Sports and Social Club to mark his 46th birthday and to toast more than two decades with the Altham company.
The senior engineer is a self-confessed company man who puts in extra hours at weekends and has only had four days off in the last four months, one of which was the day after his party.
Steve said: "Work is my hobby. I enjoy it."
Steve is so committed to his job that he went to work in a wheelchair after a serious road crash left him with a broken leg, ribs and arm. He has also been known to sleep at the site overnight.
He said: "The occasion with the camp bed was when we had just gone into our new facility and the men who ran the machines were taking part in a course, so rather than bringing one of them back I said I would run the machines myself. I took my camp bed, gas stove and frying pan into work and I ran the machines for 36 hours so that we could get the things over to America."
Steve, Callender's longest-serving employee, started work with the firm on 5 January 1978, when he was just 20 years old. He had started his working life as an apprentice at Platt's and did a very brief spell at Clayton Goodfellows before learning from his aunt that there was a vacancy at Callender.
When he started at Callender, it was a small company in Lower Barnes Street, Clayton, employing about 15 people. During the past 25 years he has seen the plant expand and move from its original site to Altham Industrial Estate. Callender now employs 250 people and supplies aerospace components to companies such as Rolls Royce.
Steve celebrated his achievements surrounded by family, friends and work colleagues including his wife Anne, who he met at work, 17-year-old daughter Emma, father Jack, three brothers and sister.
Guests enjoyed a buffet prepared by Susan Clegg, who runs the Callender canteen, before listening to the talents of live band, Meltdown, which has two members who work at Callender. The night was rounded off with a disco and Steve was presented with a Titanium plaque made by his work colleagues.
But it is not quite all work for Steve, who is a very keen carp fisherman. To celebrate his silver jubilee, Callender has given him a month off in September, when he will be going to Canada with his father for a four-week fishing holiday.
Steve said: "There was in excess of 100 people at the party. The buffet was fantastic and the band was very well received. It was a good atmosphere and we finished off with a disco. It was a very good night."