When Les Parratt started working at Louth’s County Hospital, England were about to win the football World Cup and John Lennon hit the headlines after claiming The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.
That was 50 years ago and while England’s victory - and the Beatles - are consigned to the record books, Les is still going strong as one of the longest serving employees at the hospital.
Mr Parratt (69) says he has seen many changes at the hospital during that time - good and bad - but his skills in the theatre department where he works as an operating department practitioner are still in demand.
He’s learned to take on the many new technologial developments and admits it has been his dream profession.
After leaving school, though, he actually started out briefly as a plumber before he joined the ‘team’ at the hospital in the operation theatre department. The date was February 14, 1966 when Mr Parratt begun working for the NHS when he was just 19 - and has been there ever since!
He explained: “When I left school, I became a plumber as I needed the work and that is where the jobs were. But I always wanted to be in the medical profession and soon secured a job in the theatre department at Louth.”
Mr Parratt has spent the years looking after patients, helping out in theatre and helping oversee all of the equipment.His colleagues have described him as being ‘a man at the top of his profession, highly skilled and a true inspiration to us all’.
Karen Pickering, theatre manager at the hospital, said: “Les has got a wealth of knowledge which he is always happy to share with his colleagues and gets on really well with everyone. He is the longest serving member of staff in the department and is very well respected. He is willing to take on additional roles and is a real inspiration. We are really proud of him.”
Pete Heggie, who has worked alongside Les for the last 25 years, said: “Les helped me through all my initial training. We have seen a lot of changes. He is very adaptable, a lovely guy to be around.”
Les, meanwhile, says he would not change anything, adding: “I have really enjoyed it and I would definitely go back and do it all again.
“I’d just like to thank everyone for all their support.”
And the good news is that, although Les has one eye on retirement to spend more time with his family, he has no immediate plans to hang up his scrubs.
He added: “It is getting to that point where I want to retire and get a few relaxing holidays in, but I haven’t given myself a leaving date.”