A partner at a Derbyshire firm of accountants is putting away his calculator and retiring – at the tender age of 84!
Brian Sutton of Moorgreen, near Eastwood, retires on Thursday (March 31) from Mabe Allen, who have offices in Derby, Ilkeston and Ripley. Brian began cutting his hours down at the age of 70, latterly doing two days a week, but now he is definitely finishing work.
His career started when he was articled to the Nottingham firm of Taft, Baldock and Winstanley. He qualified in 1959, staying for a couple more years.
He was then employed by Fuller, Worboys and Co in Ripley as a chartered accountant, rising to become senior partner before the company merged with Mabe Allen in the 1990s when Brian moved to the Ilkeston office.
At one time the Ripley company did the accounts for pop group Paper Lace before they became famous.
While most people retire at 65 Brian still helped people with their books and tax matters.”I continued working because I enjoyed it and meeting clients,” he said.
“I have been very lucky with good health and I’m proud to say that I have only ever had two half-days off sick through illness in 60 years.”
A keen sportsman Brian played tennis, squash and badminton until he was 60 when he took up golf. “I still enjoy playing a round of golf over 18 holes twice a week,” he said.
Now he is preparing to spend more time with the green grass in his garden. “I’m now going to get on with some of the jobs that have built up over the years and treat myself and my wife Karen to more holidays,” he added.
Mabe Allen managing partner Kevin Slack said: “Brian has been very committed, particularly giving dedicated service to all his clients and good sound advice over the years as well as helping the practice to grow.
“Sixty years service is exemplary and all his colleagues wish him well.”
Stepping up at the firm is tax director Stephen Foulkes (49) from Ripley who has spent more than 30 years at the firm.
He started at the company’s Ripley office as an accounting apprentice in September 1988 as a 16-year-old straight from Ripley Mill Hill School. He has spent his time at the office in Derby Road until moving to the headquarters on Osmaston Road, Derby, four years ago.
He becomes tax partner on April 1. “It’s daunting but I’m delighted,” he said. “To have those dedicated years of service with the firm recognised in this way is great.”
Until recently he was chair for five years of the East Midlands branch of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. He has also been treasurer for 10 years of the Nottingham, Derby, and Lincoln Society of Chartered Accountants.
But away from balancing the books he is a dab hand at tinkling the ivories as a semi-professional organist performing at concerts across the country.
“When I visited Blackpool Tower as a six-year-old and saw the world-famous Wurlitzer organ was when I got the bug,” he said.
“I have since had the privilege of playing the organ on a few occasions. “Rising up from the floor of the stage as people often see on television while playing is an incredible feeling.”