I'm content with the job, so I've never had any reason to leave. For a lot of the time, I've been with the same people, so we've all kept going together.
What made you decide to become an interior decorator?
I didn't have much choice. When I left school I had two options offered to me: I could have gone into the railway or become a painter. My father was in the railway business and he advised me against that, so I became a painter.
Do you think you have benefited from staying with one company for your entire career?
I've enjoyed just working for the one company, although I think it depends on the person. Some people are very ambitious and want to keep moving on and up. I've enjoyed staying here at Bluestone because I'm still working with some of the same people I was with at the beginning, although a lot of them have retired now. We're like a big family.
What have you enjoyed most about the past 40 years?
The people I work with and the company. We've always had a laugh together. It's still a job but I've enjoyed going to work because we all know each other.
So are there any parts of the job that you don't like?
The one thing that gets me down now and again is the winters, especially now that I'm getting older. When you're working out in the open you get wet and cold and it's then that I sometimes wish I worked in an office or something. At least there you're dry.
What gives you a buzz in your job?
I think working on different things all the time is a highlight. I've never particularly liked the idea of factories because you're going to the same place every day. The buzz in this trade is that everything's different. You may think painting one house is the same as painting another but they're all totally different. I find six-month jobs tiring because you're going to the same site every day.
To what extent has the industry changed during your career?
It has changed a lot. When I started painting, a job two miles away was like going on a march. We only worked on places very close to the base. We didn't have vans or anything either; we used to push big barrows around. The safety aspect has changed a lot, too. Scaffolding was hardly heard of. We did all the work on ladders, even for big places on Brighton sea front. Also, now you get toilets and washing facilities on site, but then you just had to make do. There were no luxuries.
Initially worked for Lelliots, which has undergone several name changes and is now part of Bluestone, regional contracting arm of Morgan Sindall
Undertook an apprenticeship when he started in the job