Malcolm Aldridge retired from Selco Builders Warehouse yesterday (30 June) after more than 20 years at the firm.

Mr Aldridge became a director in 1990, took on the role of managing director in 1998 and has spent the past three years as chairman. He was formerly chief executive of British Dredging Plc and more recently chairman of Frontline and Smiths Bathrooms.

Mr Aldrige said: “It will be emotional to walk out for the final time. It’s been a big attachment and a significant part of my life. But I will have plenty to keep me busy. It will give me more chance to extend my work with the church and as a community first responder, play some more golf - and I’ve just started keeping bees.”

Mr Aldrige has overseen a major period of growth at Selco, which has seen its number of branches expand from five to 34 under his leadership, including breaking into London, with the capital now being home to 18 warehouses.

"I look back on my time with a degree of satisfaction and feel young enough to do it all again," Mr Aldridge continued. "It’s a unique business, but the products we are selling are not unique. It is the concept and level of service which are unique. We are a trade business with retail disciplines, which is key to our success.

“We’ve had great teams in the branches and a strong senior management team which is vital to the success of any business. We all have our strengths and weaknesses so I wanted to complement the talents of everyone and create a balanced management team where everyone had their say."

Selco chief executive Chris Cunliffe, who has worked alongside Mr Aldridge for over 20 years, paid tribute to the retiring chairman.

“From the moment I got to know Malcolm he was like a mentor to me and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better,” Mr Cunliffe said. "His vast knowledge, expertise and passion have been key to his and Selco’s growth, and there is no doubt in my mind that Selco would not be the success story it is today without Malcolm. I and all Selco colleagues wish Malcolm an extremely happy and long retirement. It’s well deserved.”

Past and present work colleagues of Mr Aldridge marked his retirement by attending a special celebration lunch in Birmingham.