WHEN SLADE’S iconic Christmas Hit, “Merry Christmas Everyone” was first being heard on the radio airwaves Edward Grant was starting his career at Newtown College.

Now, 43 years later, Noddy Holder’s voice is still to be heard, but Eddie is putting aside his trowel and retiring.

Colleagues past and present joined Eddie for a special Christmas lunch to say farewell after he worked a mammoth 43 years with the college’s construction and motor vehicle departments.

He started work at the college after leaving school in September 1974, when colleges were known as polytechnics and before computers were introduced into the workplace.

Eddie is known to all those who worked with him as a hard grafter and has barely had a day off since he began.

Among those who came to say farewell included past lecturers and colleagues from the Construction and Motor Vehicle departments – Jim Cannell, Evan and John Pryce.

John Pryce gave a humorous speech referring to the old days followed by a complimentary speech from Bill Evans.

He spoke highly of Eddie’s commitment to the job saying: “Eddie was always on time, did everything that was asked of him and that he could not ask for anything more from a colleague.”

Eddie received a few farewell gifts including a glass engraved beer tankard, an Arsenal T-shirt with his name and number 43 imprinted on the shirt to signify the number of years’ commitment he had made.