Travel veteran celebrates huge company milestone

A travel veteran is celebrating 60 years’ service with a long-established travel agency and shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

Eddie Starkie, (76), from Burnley, started his career with Althams Travel as an office junior at the Market Street head office in December 1956.

He then transferred to the Burnley booking office as a travel clerk for a number of years and also worked as a relief clerk in various Althams branches, both in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Following this time, he returned to head office, which had then moved to the company premises at Riverside Offices, Heasandford due to the compulsory purchase and demolition of Market Street by Burnley Council.

Eddie worked his way through the ranks enjoying a number of roles including Tours Manager, Company Travel Manager and General Manager.

Not shy of work, from 1960 to 1980, Eddie also worked a second job as a youth leader at the Sandygate Youth Club and from 1991 to 2010 gave his time to serve the community as a magistrate, only giving up this role because it is compulsory when you reach 70 years of age.

Eddie was promoted to Managing Director in 1983 and in addition became Chairman of the company in 1995. In September 1999 he relinquished the role of chairman to concentrate on the more important role of Managing Director.

Eddie enjoys taking a hands-on approach to his role and throughout the years he ensured regular visits to the various branches and liaising with staff on a regular basis.

Many of the staff view him as a father figure; his experience, expertise and knowledge of the industry is second to none and he is certainly well respected within the company and the wider industry.

Last year Eddie was recognised in the Travel Weekly’s Agent Achievements Award (AAA) for his personal outstanding contribution to the travel trade, which meant a lot to a man who has dedicated six decades to the industry and has no plans to retire any time soon.

A 60 years’ service award, from all the staff, was proudly presented to Eddie at the annual Christmas party and awards celebration which came as a complete surprise to him and brought a tear to his eye.

The awards evening also celebrated 25 years’ service from eight Althams’ staff, a great accolade for a business which employs some 200 staff around the region.

Eddie said: “This is a huge personal and career milestone and I’m absolutely delighted to be celebrating 60 years with a fantastic company.

“The business has gone from strength to strength over the years and this is down to our committed and dedicated workforce. “I’d like to thank every employee I’ve had the pleasure of working with, both past and present; I’m looking forward to an exciting future at Althams Travel.”