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MOT man celebrates 25 years of excellent service

When MOT specialist Alan Crawford was made redundant on Christmas Eve, 1992, Ashford garage owner Derek Pestridge was quick to spot the silver lining.

"Alan was really well known in Ashford, he was a very talented MOT tester and the chance to make him part of my newest venture was too good to miss," Derek recalled.

That venture was the expansion of D&D Autos' servicing and repairs operation in Victoria Road, Ashford, to include MOT testing.

Twenty-five years later, staff at D&D Autos' modern premises in Moat Way, Ashford, gathered to celebrate Alan's quarter of a century with the family-owned business.

D&D Autos relocated in 2009 to its current purpose-built premises on the Orbital Park. When the Victoria Road MOT centre re-opened temporarily as MOT Express, Alan was again at the helm, but when it closed several years later Alan returned to Moat Way.

"I obviously like it here," he joked, when asked about his long career with D&D. "It's great to work for a family firm that cares so much about its staff and is so focused on delivering great service for the customer. It's a friendly place to work, it's a great atmosphere and I have never even thought about looking elsewhere."

After 45 years in the motoring trade, Alan has seen many changes, particularly in the way that cars have become more reliable but at the same time less accessible to the home mechanic. "It can be frustrating for people who enjoy a bit of DIY on their cars, but it does mean we have fewer people bringing in bodged up repairs for us to sort out on a Monday morning," he commented.

Alan has been married to Teresa for 18 years and the couple have four children - along with 12 grandchildren.

"It was clearly very distressing for Alan when he was made redundant but I knew he was a talented individual and I was keen to get him on board at D&D Autos," said Derek Pestridge. "Twenty-five years on I'm really glad I did so."