And finally…Age no barrier as Arvill hires 78-year-old sales executive

In a move which celebrates its commitment to age diversity, Airdrie family business Arvill Plant and Tool Hire has appointed a 78-year-old construction industry veteran as one its sales executives.

The company has acquired the services of hugely experienced and universally-respected plant hire specialist Eddie McLean as part of its drive to extend and enhance its wide-ranging customer base.

Eddie, who was born in the same year as the Battle of Britain, is the oldest sales person in plant hire in Scotland and possibly the UK. He is working closely with commercial director Hayley Shevill and has already brought in a slew of new clients to the business.

He said: “At my age and having worked in the sector for so long, I know most of the people in the business and am delighted to bring my connections to a firm which has long set the pace in plant hire across Scotland.”

Eddie was persuaded to join forces with Arvill by owner and managing director Arthur Shevill, who founded the company in 1985 and ran it in its early years from his home and garden shed.

He said: “The whole team is delighted that Eddie has agreed to come on board. He has an unrivalled track record, he keeps his word, he has an excellent reputation in the industry and he knows how everything works.

“To indicate how valuable his contribution will be, he has already secured deals with Fankerton Plant, RJ McLeod, Marshall Plant, CM Steel, Front Line Construction, Advance Construction and Dem-Master.”

Edinburgh-born Eddie, who now lives in Bathgate, left school in 1955 and went straight to work in the oil shale mines which operated in Scotland for more than a century. He said: “These pits were all extracted by shovel. There was no machinery. It was hard, hard work.”

As well as the shale mines, he worked in construction on motorway projects including the M8, the M73 and the M74. He also gained a heavy goods licence and travelled the country as a lorry driver.

He entered plant hire in 1962 with Fidelity of Airdrie, where he spent 26 years. He also worked with Nixon Hire. Eddie was persuaded to “take off his boiler suit” after so many years at Fidelity to embark on a new career in sales.

Hayley Shevill said: “It’s great to have a fount of knowledge like Eddie on the team. We have all ages, including a trainee fitter who is just 16. Eddie has certainly brought the average age up by a few years.”

Eddie, who has three daughters, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren, says he “has no intention of retiring”. However, his wife, who is just 64, plans to retire this year. Eddie said: “She says she is ready for a wee rest.”

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