Reg retires after 50 years helping navy rule waves

Reg Hallett
Reg Hallett

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A MAN who worked for the Ministry of Defence for half a century said he didn’t regret a single day.

Reg Hallett has retired after working as an engineer testing ships systems for 51 years.

Mr Hallett, 66, said his work colleagues had helped make his long career so enjoyable.

He said: ‘No matter where I went there was always teamwork.

‘The banter and everything was tremendous.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed it – if I had my time back I’d do the same thing again.’

Mr Hallett, of Cowplain, did a five-year apprenticeship in electrical engineering at a training centre in Conway Street in Portsmouth.

He said the things he learned there put him in good stead for the rest of his life.

‘Because of engineering I find that I can do a lot of things in life,’ said Mr Hallett.

‘Over the years I’ve done house building and things like that.’

Mr Hallett started his career at the Portsmouth Dockyard, following a family tradition.

He said: ‘It was a big family thing.

‘My dad worked there and I had a few uncles who were crane drivers.

‘I think I was the last Hallett to leave.’

Mr Hallett said the biggest change he had seen was the reduction in ships, and in the size of the workforce at Portsmouth’s dockyards.

He said: ‘My dad used to tell me stories about 26,000 bikes coming and going in and out of there every day.

Mr Hallett later worked at the Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment testing centre on Portsdown Hill before being transferred back into the city to work at the Maritime Commissioning and Testing Authority.

Mr Hallett’s career even spanned different generations of warships with the same names.

He said he’d worked on one HMS Ark Royal at the start of his career and another Ark Royal in later years.

Mr Hallett said he planned to spend his retirement making himself useful around the house.

He has a wife, Barbara, a daughter, Kerrie and three grandchildren.