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Reluctant Joe calls time on his passion

Wednesday, 1st July, 2015

Joe Bailey with his very rare ex-Army 1942 Diamond T 6 X 6 Wrecker that he plans to work on now he has retired. Joe Bailey with his very rare ex-Army 1942 Diamond T 6 X 6 Wrecker that he plans to work on now he has retired.

By Emily Roberts

After 42 years of being in private business, Broken Hill metal fabricator Joe Bailey has had his last day.

Joe has spent many years making ute trays - his handiwork can be seen on countless 4WDs - and stock crates, along with carrying out truck and other mechanical repairs.

He first worked at the North Mine for 10 years before purchasing a stock truck which he drove for almost seven years.

“When I left the mine, people said I would go broke driving a stock truck,” he said. “I was determined not to. I took any job that came up.”

After that he opened NN and DC Bailey at 423 Schlapp Street and has been in fabrication every since.

“That’s 42 years in private business and 52 years working.”

But Joe doesn’t want to retire.

“I don’t want to retire, but I’ve got crook shoulders and a bad back.

“You have to finish at some stage, but I’m not looking forward to it.”

Joe does plan to keep his shed and tinker around it in.

“I’ll stay here and play with some old vehicles I have, until I have to leave.”

Over the years, Joe has had a number of staff.

“One bloke stayed for 20 years - he was a good worker.

“My nickname was ‘grumpy’, so some workers didn’t stay.”

Joe had his last day yesterday.

“The worst part is not having to come to work,” he said.

“It’s a bit disconcerting.

“If I had to do it all again, I would but with a few changes.”

He said he might be put to work by his daughter.

“I’ve got 20 years worth of work that could be done at my daughter Sarah’s house,” Joe said.

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