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'Old McDonald' is still lovin' going to work

Published date: 11 April 2014 |
Published by: Owen Evans 
Read more articles by Owen Evans  Email reporter


 

AT THE age of 89, McDonald’s employee Bill Dudley is still ‘lovin’ it’.

Bill, from Connah’s Quay, is the oldest McDonald’s worker in the UK and maybe even in Europe.

He celebrated his birthday with staff and customers at the Mold restaurant yesterday.

And the great-grandfather, a war veteran and former taxi driver, said he had no plans to retire.

He said: “I really enjoy it – I look forward to going to work.

“I think I would be lost without the job. I love working with the staff and meeting the customers.

“It is a great staff that we work with – they are all quite young and I think some of them see me as the father of the group.

“I used to be in the Royal Navy, and I like to think of all the staff as a crew.”

His wife Margaret, 70, may call him ‘Old Mcdonald’, but Mr Dudley said he knew he was not the oldest in the world.

He said: “There’s one staff member in America who is 100 – he opens and closes the door. According to my boss, I’m supposed to be one of the oldest in Europe though.

“I will carry on until I fall – I will only give up when I get too old.”

Mr Dudley, who used to work as a rep for NWN Media, works a six-hour shift on a Wednesday and Thursday.

He said: “I work in customer care, so I say hello when they come in, open the door if they’re struggling with prams or anything and clear trays and tables.

“For my birthday they brought a cake in, I was given a bottle of whisky, cards and we put a few balloons up.”

Franchisee Stewart Williams said: “Bill is an inspiring member of the team, who engages with our customers on every visit.  

“All our staff are incredibly proud to work alongside him and he has been a valued member of the team.  

“He has been working at McDonald’s for over six years now as a part-time customer care assistant.

“We look forward to celebrating his 90th birthday here next year.”

Last year, Bill, who has two sons, 14 grandchildren and four great grandchildren, was awarded the Arctic Medal for his service during the Second World War.

He narrowly escaped death when a torpedo came close to hitting his ship during battle – but he forgave the pilot when he met him nearly 50 years later.

He said: “I saw this aircraft coming towards us and it dropped the torpedo.

“I saw his face – he was so close to me – and that is one of the most vivid memories I have of the war, I thought this is it, this is the end.

“Years later he saw an article in one of the magazines we used to produce and got in touch with Peter Lyons, who was also on the ship. He came over and about 40 of us went down to Torquay to see him.”

He said there were no feelings of anger between them, despite the German pilot’s attempts to kill all on board HMS Nairana.

After leaving the Royal Navy, Bill went on to work at Airbus for a decade, British Steel for 35 years and then as a taxi driver for ABA Car in Shotton for more than 15 years.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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