Today, we’re tipping our hats to Nigel Leclere, our much-loved mechanical fitter who has just hung up his work overalls after a remarkable innings at VES, Manchester. The echo of his cheerful laughter and the buzz of his mechanical genius are still resonating through the shopfloor at our Trafford Park site where we gathered to bid him farewell.

The day was a nostalgic trip down memory lane as ex-employees and past managers popped in to honour Nigel’s sterling 37-year service. And of course, what’s a celebration without good food? We all tucked into some mouth-watering burritos, compliments of the caterers we invited for the occasion.

Our story with Nigel began many moons ago at Leybold, where he worked shoulder-to-shoulder with several of our present colleagues. Fast forward to 1994, a management buyout transformed Leybold’s Manchester division into what we know today as VES.

Nigel was with us right from the start, an integral part of the VES fabric. Not only did he bring with him an incredible breadth of knowledge and experience, but he also never shied away from sharing these treasures with everyone around him. Yet, it was his camaraderie and the bond he shared with his colleagues that made him truly special.

Pictured here with Nigel are some of the VES founders: from left to right, Derek Gardner, Steve Murfitt, Steve Derbyshire, (our beloved Nigel Leclere) and Edward Garner.

Nigel, old mate, we wish you nothing but the best in your well-deserved retirement. We already miss your sunny presence among us!