Builder who worked for same company for 52 years to take the plunge into retirement today

Terry Wicks
Terry Wicks

A builder who has worked for the same firm for 52 years will retire from his post on Wednesday.

Terry Wicks, 67, started work for E J Waterhouse & Sons as an apprentice carpenter aged 15 and became a building site manager a few years later.

The company’s managing director Rob Waterhouse said: “I’ve been here for 30 years and he’s never had a day off in that time.

“He’s very reliable and knows his job inside out and you do not have to concern yourself about the site at all.

“He’s very good at managing people and he’s a builder and knows how to build with traditional methods to ensure that the quality of the construction is spot on.

“We are going to struggle without him. He’s going to be a huge loss to us.”

Mr Wicks, of Croft Lane, Chipperfield, will make the most of his retirement – by taking his wife on a 10-week tour of France in their caravan. They may also go to Italy.

Mr Wicks said: “Leaving the job is a bit of a bind when you are used to coming to work every day and look forward to going to work. But I have got other things to do.”

He has worked on projects for Herts County Council, Hightown Praetorian & Churches Housing Association and others during the course of his career.

E J Waterhouse & Sons now focuses more on building and selling new homes.

Mr Wicks, who has three children and eight grandchildren, said: “I am getting no younger. I am 68 in December and I thought: ‘Now’s the time to spend a bit of quality time in retirement,’ because you do not know what’s round the corner at the end of the day.

One of Mr Wicks’ last jobs will be to work on the controversial The Pines development. Planning permission to convert one house into two and build four new houses on the North Road site took years to obtain after multiple objections from Berkhamsted Town Council. Chairman of the authority’s planning committee Laruence Handy lives next-door to the site – but had no say in the objections.

E J Waterhouse & Sons was based in Kings Lane, Chipperfield, until November, when the firm moved its base to Ashlyns Hall, Chesham Road, Berkhamsted. Mr Wicks has been working part-time for the last 18 months.