PLUMBER’S JOB SWITCH HELPED END BANK CUSTOMERS’ CASH-FLOW HEADACHES
When time-served plumber John Latue pulled the plug on his trade and switched to a job in banking he thought it would be just a temporary change.
But, after 30 years working to solve the accounts headaches of Barclays Bank’s customers, he has conceded the decision turned out to be the “best move I ever made.”
Seventy-two-year-old John, the latest city craftsman to join the Plumbers’ Company, lives on the outskirts of Durham with his wife Ivy, and started his working life in 1963 working as an apprentice for Fred Dennison. He stayed for five years before moving on to work for other plumbing companies in Durham.
In the late 1970s he was offered work supporting specialist security services for Barclays Bank and worked in branches in Darlington, Durham and Stockton before switching to the centralised Complex Queries Department based in Middlesbrough.
“It was a total change of direction and being a plumber was no help at all. I had a whole new job to learn but I was no longer getting my hands dirty and I was working behind a desk. I have had no regrets,” said John the father of a grown-up son and daughter.
“More recently I was talking to Geoff Kitson who I knew from my work at Dennison’s and he mentioned about the freemen, a conversation reinforced by another freeman who I met at a wedding on Tyneside – so I decided to apply,” he added.
In retirement he and his wife enjoy hillwalking in the Lake District and the local dales, ballroom dancing and trips to the theatre. But life has not always been so relaxed.
Both he and Ivy are experienced scuba divers, skiers and John even tried his hand as a crew member on a racing yacht. The couple also both completed the Great North Run for ten years. But their adventurous pastimes are long behind them and now concentrate on less hazardous adventures.