A FAMILY business in Middlewich is celebrating 50 years of success and the man who started it all in 1966 has paid tribute to his staff past and present. 

Winsford Plant Hire, in Lewin Street, was set up by Dennis Heath in Winsford industrial estate 50 years ago, where it was just him and one digger. 

Dennis, 72, and his wife, Margaret, 70, moved Winsford Plant Hire to Middlewich 10 years later and saw the business grow in the town. 

Dennis said: “When we first started there was only me and I drove the one digger I had and that was it. Then at our peak we had 20 diggers and about 30 staff, that was about 10 years ago. 

“The construction industry has changed and we have changed with it. We have gone from having heavy equipment to smaller and lighter equipment. 

“We have survived a few recessions haven’t we? I think that’s testament to myself and all the staff that have worked here, some who have sadly died.”

Despite moving from Winsford 40 years ago, Dennis and Margaret decided to keep the Winsford name.

Dennis added: “I think you only change your name when it’s bad so we kept the same name when we moved from Winsford and that was 40 years ago now.”

The business is now run by three directors, Dennis, Margaret and their daughter, Donna Gill, 45. 

Peter Wilkinson, Peter Harrison and Nigel Carter make up the rest of the staff, with Nigel and Peter Wilkinson having been with the business for more than 30 years. 

Dennis said: “We would like to thank all the customers that have been loyal to us over the long period of time we’ve been here and we hope it continues.”