AFTER working in his chosen profession for 73 years, local accountant Leslie S G Knott is hanging up his calculator.
Mr Knott hoped to work until his 90th Birthday in 2016, but ill health last year means that he has brought his retirement forward.
He said: “I still hope to make The Guiness Book of Records – as the person paying Income Tax to HMRC for the greatest length of time.
“I started work in 1940 for Thomas Forrester and Sons, at the Phoenix Pottery in Longton, studying accountancy at night school.
“The managing director, W P Moreton was 75 and he made me realise that you could work indefinitely.
“I cycled daily from Longton to his home in Trentham with the post.
“His valet would show me in and I would read the post out while Mr Moreton sat up in bed eating his breakfast.
“I then cycled all the way back to the office with his instructions.
“Aged just 14 I was responsible for wages. Every Friday the workers would line up outside our office where I presided over a large tray containing numbered tins.
“Each one referred to the pay of an employee; woe betide me if my calculations were incorrect and anyone was underpaid.
“I soon learned that accuracy was the most important part of accountancy.
“I started my own business in 1960, from the box room in our home.
“I initially rented premises in Fountain Street, but eventually moved my office to Talbot Street, where it’s remained. Leek has been a wonderful town to work in.
“I have enjoyed every day of my career, being very fortunate to have had such interesting clients, many of whom have become firm friends.
“I will miss them all greatly. Words can't express how much I have valued their company and conversation.
“I would also like to thank my loyal and dedicated colleagues, who have worked tirelessly on my behalf and to express appreciation of my wonderful wife and family too.
“Last year my wife and I celebrated our Diamond Wedding Anniversary and received a telegram from the Queen.
“Although I am taking a back seat, L S G Knott and Co is still very much a thriving business, having merged with another firm recently, Accountancy 4 Growth.
“My daughter and former colleagues now enjoy working alongside Chartered Accountants Jed Eatough and Ian Beech, who continue to offer the same efficient and friendly service.”