ACCOUNTANT Richard Covey has retired after a remarkable 62-year career working the whole time for the same company.

Mr Covey started straight from school with Amherst and Shapland, in Minehead, on January 1, 1962, when he was 15 years old.

Now, he has finally hung up his calculator to spend more time with his wife Jackie and on his hobbies of target shooting and bowls.

He met Jackie at Amherst and Shapland, where she worked as a typist, and the couple have two sons, Andrew and Alexander, who are both accountants and live in Cotford St Luke and Hove, East Sussex, respectively.

His last day was marked with a dinner with past and present work colleagues in the Quay Inn, Minehead.

“It was nice to see some of the people who had left and I had not seen for a while,” he said.

It was a ‘different world’ in 1962 when Mr Covey started work, a time when everything was done manually using analysis paper and one mechanical adding machine, and accounts had to be typed.

Mr Covey, who lives in Williton, said: “After a little while, we had an electric adding machine and a while after that calculators came in, and then computers.

“When I first started, after a little while I could add up in my head the old pounds and shillings and pence.

“But now I would not attempt it because I have been using calculators and spreadsheets for so long.”

Another noticeable change in the seven decades has been in the number of staff employed in the company.

Mr Covey said there were far fewer people today than when everything was done on paper and required a much larger staff.

He said he ‘never really thought about’ moving to another job because he had always been quite happy in what turned into a ‘cosy little niche’.

Mr Covey accepted: “For somebody to stay with the same firm all their working life is quite unusual these days.

“These days people seem to chop and change, especially more recently with businesses coming and going.

“You only have to look around Minehead, or Taunton, and there are so many empty shops.

“It makes you wonder what will happen in the future.”

Although Mr Covey could have retired earlier, he was happy to be persuaded to carry on during the Covid pandemic but gradually reducing his hours over the years.

Now, he has cut them completely.

As well as his shooting and bowls, Mr Covey occasionally played football and cricket in his younger days.

But shooting has remained his passion: “It is one of the few sports where you have true equality in terms of age and sex.”

Amherst and Shapland director Kevin Preston told the Free Press: “Richard has been a stalwart in the team, never getting flustered, and always getting on well with clients and colleagues.”