Tim Hale, aged 65, was a technician at the Ford dealership for 42 years.

“It used to be a lot muckier,” he said. “The job’s a lot cleaner and the cars are a lot more technical. Nowadays, cars don’t get oil leaks, years ago every car had oil leaks.”

Roland Ingram in sales has been there for 43 years, service manager Graham Grasby for 41 years and 63-year-old technician Roger Kirby came to the garage straight out of Stratford High School in 1968, 46 years ago.

“We’ve probably seen more of each other than our wives in the past 40 years!” joked Roland, who now works three days a week.

Arden Garages first started trading tractors on Shakespeare’s Birthday in 1956. Founded by Alan Titchmarsh and his son Peter, Alan’s grandson David is the current MD of the family business.

“I’m a mere nipper, I’ve only done 30 years,” he said.

A lot’s changed in the past four decades. In its heyday in the 1970s the company employed around 40 people, now there are just over 20.

The cars have got a lot more electronics inside them today, and ten years ago the garage moved from Arden Street to its current location on Masons Road.

Although a lot more problems are ‘diagnostic’ and electrical, rather than mechanical, Tim said: “You still have to work things out for yourself, you don’t just plug it in into a laptop.”