Les looks back on fifty years
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After 52 years in road transport – a large part of it behind the wheel of an LGV - Bristol driver Les Shapcott has decided it’s time to hang up his keys. Well, maybe…
“The only reason I’m retiring is to spend more time with my great grandchildren,” says the youthful 83-year old. “I’ve got 28 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren, the youngest of which I’m going to be looking after until he starts school next year. So I haven’t totally ruled out a comeback!”
A former Grenadier Guard, Les passed his LGV test in 1959. “The first commercial vehicle I drove was a milk float. I then moved to a Scammell three-wheeler. Along the way I’ve driven a bus, delivered Walls ice cream and worked for BRS, C&A and Unilever. I moved into training with the Road Transport Industry Training Board before joining Tibbett & Britten’s transport office. I joined Driver Hire when I ‘retired’ for the first time in 1993.”
Out of the many vehicles he’s driven, Les’ favourite is a MAN artic. He well remembers his early days on trucks with crash gear boxes and no heating! “Although there was less traffic then, I think it was harder getting around in a goods vehicle on ‘A’
roads. The motorway network has made life much easier for truckers,” Les comments.
Rhian Hill at Driver Hire Bristol will be sorry to see him go. “Les is a real character and a good driver. We knew we could always rely on him to do a great job for us. If he decides to come out of retirement, we’d be more