A KILKENNY man with a passion for his trade has just completed 50 years service.
Jimmy Travers, who in times gone by would be recognised as a mechanic but the name in the trade has since changed to technician, completed 50 years service in the motor business on December 8.
And he celebrated by going to work!
“It seems like only yesterday that I started out,” Jimmy told the ’People. “I loved the job from the first day, and I still enjoy it today.”
Currently Mr Travers works as part of the service team at the company owned by his son, James Travers Garage, Unit 22 Hebron Industrial Estate, Kilkenny.
Worked in Statham’s
He commenced his apprenticeship as a 15-year-old in Statham’s of Patrick Street, Kilkenny, on December 8, 1962 earning the princely sum of £1 a week. Statham’s were the main Ford dealers at the time, with the 105 Anglia and Cortina, which is celebrating a 50th birthday this year, the most popular models.
He got a start, as he put in, with the help of his wife, Angela’s father, the late Willie ‘The Wag’ Walsh from Fatima Place who worked with Stathams. Mr Walsh moved on to be a partner in the Langton/Walsh garage on Patrick Street, Kilkenny, near the current SIPTU offices.
“I was always interested in the job,” Mr Travers said. “When I was at home I would be working on my father’s car, a Morris Minor. That was a very basic car, but they were great machines.”
When he finished his apprenticeship Mr Travers was earning around £20 a week. He remained with Stathams until 1966 when he moved to work with Treacy’s Garage, Irishtown, who had the franchise for Fiat and Renault. Treacy’s were one of the first garages in Ireland to take on the French marque, which was a bold step at that time.
Mr Travers remained with Treacy’s until 1974 when he moved to work in Lanigan’s Garage on Patrick Street in the premises now occupied by TC Tyres.
Opened own business
The morning after St Stephen’s day in 1974 Mr Travers opened his own motor servicing business on the Dublin Road. He later moved the business to the Ormonde Road, where he was later joined by his son, James. Mr Traver junior eventually took over the company and moved it to its present site in the Hebron Estate.
“It was always a great business,” JimmyTravers insisted. “The way the cars and engines were changing kept things exciting, because I was always interested in what was new and what was coming next.
“I always made sure I kept up with the changes in technology, because cars were constantly changing.”
Jimmy did a lot of hot rod racing and rallying in his time, and he enjoyed fair success. His son later following him into the sports, and he too enjoyed some royal times.
Mr Travers (senior) will celebrate his 66th birthday on January 8 and Mr Travers plans to be where he is always happy and content.....at work.
He is son of the late Freddy and Nora Travers, Fatima Place, Kilkenny.