Alun Gape, founder of Severn Timber Products at Welshpool, now part of the SCA Timber group, retired from the business on January 9. The occasion was marked with an informal ceremony attended by all 50 staff at the company, many of whom have been with Mr Gape since the firm started in 1983.

Fellow director Jeff Fisher, who joined in 1994, gave a personal vote of thanks to Mr Gape, whom he described as a “truly caring” businessman.

“Alun has steered the company into safe hands for the long-term future with SCA, and leaves us with a confident structure and a strong team, adaptable to the changing market place,” said Mr Fisher.

SCA Timber Supply managing director Rob Simpson presented Mr Gape with a top-of-the-range television. “Alun’s knack for cost reduction has been an example to us all, along with his personal working ethos. We’ve adopted some of his best working practices across SCA Timber Supply’s units as an ongoing tribute to his careful and caring nature,” said Mr Simpson.

In his retirement Mr Gape will continue his lifelong interest in music, in particular singing with Llanfair Caereinion Male Voice Choir.

Jonathan Bower, who joined SCA in autumn last year, is operations director at SCA Severn Timber and now takes on much of Alun Gape’s role.