Coach-trimmer Noel Thompson stitches his name into 50 years of Bentley history
Bentley is celebrating the 50th working anniversary of its longest-serving employee this month. Noel Thompson, a coach-trimmer at the headquarters of Bentley Motors in Crewe, England, began working for the world’s leading luxury automotive brand on 1st September 1969, when he was 16 years old.
Noel was one of 60 fellow apprentices to arrive on the shop-floor of the factory that day, where he spent 12 months receiving rotation training across various divisions, predominantly within engineering, before specialising in coach-trimming. An outstanding and highly-sought after line of apprenticeship schemes at Bentley has continued to train highly skilled craftspeople to this day.
For 22 years, Noel Thompson was fortunate to work at the factory at the same time as his own father, who was employed as a coach-painter for almost 40 years until 1991, a period when Bentley was a subdivision of Rolls-Royce. Noel’s grandmother also worked in the factory during the second world war.