A well-known stalwart of the Shropshire motor industry is retiring after 50 years’ service with one of the county’s leading companies.

Russ Smith joined the Furrows Group as an apprentice in 1968, and worked his way through the ranks to end his career as Joint Managing Director. Now he is stepping down from his busy role in the same year that the company celebrates its centenary.

“I have seen the Furrows Group go from strength to strength over the past five decades and it’s incredible to think that I’ve never worked anywhere else,” said Russ. “It’s a daunting step to finally call time on my career with the Furrows family, but I’m looking forward to some rest and relaxation, and to spending more time in our favourite places on the Welsh coast.”

After beginning his career as an apprentice in Coton Hill and Castle Foregate in Shrewsbury, Russ progressed through the Group, holding many management positions across all the company’s dealerships – in Telford, Shrewsbury and Oswestry – focussing particularly on after-sales.

Furrows Chairman Nic Coward paid tribute to Russ and his remarkable service to Furrows, its customers, and the local community.

“It really is amazing to think that Russ has spent his entire career with us throughout the 50 years our family has been involved with Furrows, and we’re very proud that he chose to stay with us. Russ has always been the epitome of what we call a ‘Furrows person’ – supremely professional, always putting our customers first, with Furrows staff a very close second.

“Long service comes naturally in our company, but Russ’s fifty years of service is a rarity even by our standards. It is also hugely fitting that one of our former apprentices is retiring in the same month that our current apprenticeship scheme has been recognised with two prestigious national awards.”

Before taking on his role as Joint Managing Director, Russ had been overseeing the Shrewsbury and Oswestry dealerships and group aftersales. The role of Dealer Principal at Shrewsbury now goes to Antony Frost who has been with the company for over 17 years, beginning as a sales executive and progressing to Group Sales Manager.

Dave Farthing – who was previously Joint Managing Director with Russ and who has worked for Furrows for over 27 years himself – will now become the sole MD working with the Board and senior management team to continue to develop the business.

Pictured: Russ Smith who has retired from Furrows after 50 years’ service with Furrows director Jane Coward