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The independent voice of the global moving industry


50-year industry veteran retires

May 22, 2014
These days the term ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past. But when Roger Vallis began his career in the removals industry in 1964 little did he know that he would spend the rest of his working life in the business. Now, after 50 years of hard work for the same firm, Robinsons, he’s nearly ready to retire.


Beginning his career as a weekend van washer with Ollis Removals, who were later bought by Robinsons in 1991, Roger has progressed in a number of front line roles. He has spent 30 of his 50 years at Robinsons at the wheel of one the company’s fleet of lorries, he’s also enjoyed long stints in the warehouse, which is where he’ll be found hard at work until his retirement this June, as Warehouse Foreman.


Asked why he’d spent 50 years in the same place, Roger’s answer is quite simple, “It’s in my blood now. And I’m not the only one. I’ve seen many people leave the trade only to return time and time again.”


Roger confessed that June would be a nice time to retire. However, he’ll be far from idle. One of his main hobbies is DIY and he’s bought a small van so that he can become a local odd-job man. He’s also looking forward to spending more time with his four grand children and manning a stall at his local car boot sale.  There doesn’t look like there’ll be many quiet moments but that would be out of character for somebody who doesn’t seem to have stopped for 50 years.


“Roger has been one of the mainstays in the Robinsons Bristol team over the years and his dedication and half a century of acquired skills and experience will be impossible to replace,” said Anthony Robinson, the company’s Managing Director. “It’s often said of retiring removal men that ‘they don’t make them like that any more’. Roger is one such example and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a long and happy retirement. Roger will undoubtedly be missed by colleagues and friends alike at Robinsons, we salute him and wish him well in his retirement.”


Collecting scale model removal vans is another hobby of Roger’s. So far he has collected about 100 vans all dressed in the liveries of some of the world’s largest moving companies.


Photo: Roger Vallis

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