JAMES Lessels started a job as a mechanic in Dunfermline just after Scotland's World Cup debacle under Ally McLeod in Argentina in 1978.

At that time, a Ford Capri 2.OS cost just over four grand and the average price of a house was £13,000, you could get a pint of milk for 11p and a packet of cigarettes for 58p.

Forty years on, James is still working at the Macklin Motors site on Halbeath Road – he was promoted to workshop controller in 2011 – and celebrated the milestone last week.

Ellis Jarett, service manager at Macklin Motors Dunfermline Ford, said: “Having worked with James for 28 years, I have witnessed a colleague who is fully trusted to carry out any duty to its maximum.

"He always puts 100 per cent effort in and this recognition of 40 years service is fully merited. Well done Jimmy!”

James added: “This is a local dealership in every sense of the word. Over the years, I have come to know customers as friends and the people I have worked with in that time have become family.

"It’s great to have been acknowledged with this achievement, if not slightly scary, and I am looking forward to the years to come.”

He and a number of colleagues from across the Vertu Motors Group, which operates Macklin Motors, were treated to a commemorative lunch at the Jesmond Dene House Hotel in Newcastle, hosted by the Group’s CEO, Robert Forrester.

Mr Forrester said: "In addition to investing in training and development, Vertu believes in recognising commitment and years of hard work from its colleagues.

“Our group would not be a success without outstanding people who go above and beyond what is required of them on a daily basis.

"We have colleagues who have worked at their sites since starting an apprenticeship, and go on to spend years at the location.

"This longevity adds real credibility, not just to our group, but for our customers and the communities our dealerships’ operate in.”