Yeadon workmates celebrate long service with VIP tour at Leeds United

Wharfedale Observer: Pictured from left are Steve Graves, Nik Vjestica and Steve Carter at Elland Road Pictured from left are Steve Graves, Nik Vjestica and Steve Carter at Elland Road

Two workmates painted the town ‘blue and yellow’ to celebrate 25 years of service with a Yeadon company.

Steve Carter and Steve Graves received their long service awards at a special celebration at Elland Road. They were treated to a VIP tour of the stadium and hospitality in their company’s Level 4 Box, before settling down to watch the Leeds v Middlesbrough game.

The two men are each marking a quarter of a century with specialist surface coatings company Austin Hayes.

Steve Carter is a senior technician and one of the country’s most experienced thermal arc metal sprayers.  He specialises in applying molten alloy coatings, spraying metals at more than 600 degrees Celsius.    

Production director, Steve Graves, joined the company on a youth training scheme. After 18 years he was appointed as a director and now oversees production of more than 500,000 ammunition containers each year, managing a team of more than 120 people.

Nik Vjestica, managing director for Austin Hayes, who has worked alongside the two men since hiring them in 1988, said: “Both Steves are outstanding employees and essential to the smooth running of the company. We are incredibly happy to have had the pleasure of working with them for so long.

“Steve Graves, our production director, now oversees a £6m portfolio for the company, focusing on ammunition containers for the defence industry. His attention to detail, delivering work on time and to the right quality is unsurpassed.

 “Steve Carter, as senior technician, is a key member of our surface coatings team that apply advanced epoxy coating systems on engineering equipment for One Subsea, another long-standing and successful local company.”

Nik added: “We’re all big Leeds United fans.

“It seemed fitting to reward Steve and Steve with a chance to see their favourite team in action, as we get to work together as a team every day.”

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