Bradford Rental’s Gary Porter officially retired last month after 48 years in business.
He opened Bradford Rental on Bridge Street in 1975, when he was just 17 years old.
“My dad owned Bradford Newmarket Rental from 1969-1975 and he sold out and retired, and he gave us our start-up money to start Bradford Rental,” he told Bradford Today.
Since then, he has kept the shop going and is one of the longest-running in town, selling, renting out and servicing equipment and machinery to local residents and businesses in Bradford and the surrounding area.
He said he was hoping to work another two years to make it a full 50, but decided now was the right time to retire to enjoy more time with his family.
“I feel good, I made up my mind that I was going to do it,” he said.
In 1993, the original shop burned down to a suspected electrical fire.
“We had already purchased the building across the street thankfully,” recalled Porter. “A lot of interesting things over the years.”
On Monday, Mayor Rob Keffer, Deputy Mayor James Leduc and Coun. Peter Dykie stopped by Porter’s house to present him with a certificate of congratulations and give their best wishes in retirement. Earlier this month York-Simcoe Scot Davidson also popped by to congratulate Porter.
Although Porter won’t be in the shop every day, he will be close by, with his nephews, Jeff and Brad, taking over the business.
“My brother and his two boys are now running it,” said Porter.
So what’s next for Porter?
Over the next few months, he will be spending some time taking vacations and cruises with his wife, children and grandchildren.