Britain's oldest digger driver (92) refuses to retire

Published:  08 February, 2012

Evergreen handyman George Evans has become Britain's oldest digger driver after investing in a brand new JCB excavator – at the grand old age of 92. Having already built his own house single-handedly, The WWII veteran is taking his non-stop DIY exploits to a new level by landscaping his back garden in Frankley, Birmingham, and bought a JCB 8008 micro excavator to carry out the work.

Grandfather-of-two George, who was injured twice during his war service, said: “Hard work and staying active is the secret of my good health. The JCB machine is my godsend. With its help I aim to be still working on the garden at the age of 100.”

It's the Birmingham-born dynamo's second JCB digger from JCB dealer Gunn JCB – his first, which he acquired three years ago, was an ex-demonstration machine which he used to clear out premises he also owns a few doors away.

Apprenticed as a joiner, George worked for Harris & Sheldon Group before he and his wife Ethel, now a sprightly 91, moved to Frankley to run their shop in 1958. Shortly before his retirement George bought adjacent land from the council for £4,000 and, following a lengthy planning process, started out on a three-year project to build his own house. The couple now live on the first floor of the two-bedroom property while renting out the ground floor to a floristry business.

“I built the house from scratch completely on my own,” said George. “I never had a labourer and managed without scaffolding. I put the plumbing in, and the central heating, and I did the plastering.”

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