The AA’s oldest patrolman is retiring this week after 30 years of service and more than 56,000 motorists helped.
John Golding, 69, from Bury St Edmunds, started working for the AA in 1984 after being persuaded to join by two friends.
“I was getting fed up of working inside a garage and fancied a change,” he said. John said the best part of being on patrol was getting out and about and meeting new people. “I am going to miss that, he said. “When you work in a garage, people are never happy - they don’t want to be there - but when you’re an AA patrol, they’re always pleased to see you.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the job, and enjoy it as much today as when I started. “But I turn 70 on my next birthday and I’ve got to pack up some time.”
John said vehicles he tinkers with have changed a lot in his 30 as a patrolman. “There were no computers in cars then and the main problem was points, which don’t exist any more.
“Communication is a lot better now, too.
“We were controlled from an office in Norwich back when I started. You had a job to get through sometimes.”
Although John is retiring from the AA, he has no plans to slow down.
“I’m not the sort of guy to sit on my backside, I’ve got to do something,” he said.
“I shall enjoy spending more time with my wife and family. “I’ve been married for 45 years and have got grandchildren now.
“I’ve got myself a little part-time job too, helping a guy I’ve known for a lot of years build kit cars.”
Andy Nunns, John’s area manager, said: “John is a brilliant patrol and great with members, which is an important aspect of he job. “He’s still learning and can certainly teach the younger patrols a thing or two.
“He considered retiring last year but wanted to do ‘one last winter’, which says a lot about him.
“We’re very proud of John and wish him a very happy and healthy retirement.”