A business boss is retiring after six decades at the helm of his family firm.

Spencer Dobie has helped run Dobie Wyatt Limited, which manufactures tarpaulins in Marlborough, for 60 years.

Now in his 80s, Spencer said he could ‘write a book’ about the story of how his family business was formed from a timeless love story.

His wife Joyce died last year and Dobie Wyatt Limited will continue to be run by Spencer's two children, both their partners, and his grandson.

Can I tell you my favourite story?” said Spencer, who retired this month.

“One weekend I came home on leave from the services and my sister said a girl called Joyce had fallen out with her boyfriend. So she said, why don’t you go knock on the door and ask her out?

“So I went down and took her for a ride on my motorbike, and ever since then we got married and took on the business of her parents.

“I could write a book about our story. There’s been lots of memories here."

The family business was first started in 1964 with Joyce’s parents, Fred and Mollie Wyatt, before Joyce and Spencer took over and passed it on to their children.

Lorraine Thatcher, Spencer's daughter, said: My brother and I started here in 1977, and our partners have joined us as well. My youngest son, Tom, he's now the managing director.

“We're really proud of all that Dad’s done and achieved, working manually all his life. We sort of had to force his arm into retirement or else he’d never stop.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Marlborough man, Spencer Dobie, has retired after 60 years.Marlborough man, Spencer Dobie, has retired after 60 years. (Image: Lorraine Thatcher)

Spencer has faced cancer twice in his life, but he hasn’t let that slow him down, going straight back to work after beating the disease both times.

But the sudden loss of his wife, Joyce, last year was “a quite traumatic event for the whole family," according to Spencer's daughter.

Lorraine said: “I think the transition of stepping back has been difficult for him. We’re lucky that he’s here and he pops in all the time for a cup of tea.”

Spencer, who describes himself as a "Marlborough man born and bred" has become a much-loved face in the community, having previously served on the town council and as president of the chamber of commerce.

“It is hard stepping back, but we’ve got to get on with life haven’t we,” he said.

When asked what he plans to do with his free time now, Spencer said: “I’ve got a very big garden and I need to keep on top of it, especially since my wife passed away. It’s my pride and joy.”