When a youthful John Kerr was making his first steps onto a fast fit forecourt as an impressionable 18 year-old, Manchester United were battling relegation, Edward Heath was Prime Minister and a gallon of petrol cost around 40p.

The Consett 57 year-old might just be HiQ's most experienced centre manager with nearly 40 years of service, but while so many things have changed during his time with HiQ, one thing has always remained the same - his dedication to customer care.

"HiQ really has become a home from home for me over the years," said John.

"The way I've always looked at things is that the customer always comes first. The customer pays your wages and if they have a bad experience, they will never come back."

"It's scary when you think of the changes that have been made in the industry since I started, but great customer service standards have always been there for us.

"I used to fit tyres for old Cortinas and Austin Maxis. Nowadays, we're dealing with 19 or 21 inch rims and tyres for a huge variety of cars.

"We'd have a chisel, a hammer and not a lot else back then, but the profession couldn't be further removed from those days now.

"Everything was done on paper and stock cards. Now we have jobs being booked through HiQ online, email requests and state-of-the-art computers to log every detail."

John said he had a great deal of time for youngsters making their way in the industry, and appreciated the pressure on their shoulders.

"There is so much responsibility on fitters these days. They are so professional in everything they do, while the training that they undergo should be seen to be believed.

"There are many more complex scenarios and customers with bespoke requirements, and the youngsters coming through are a credit to the industry."

John Kerr and the HiQ Consett team