Kevin Fretwell, Technical Director of Bestobell Valves, part of the President Engineering Group, is retiring after 40 years with the company.

Fretwell, who started his career as an apprentice engineer for the National Coal Board, joined Bestobell in 1973 when the company was based just outside Rotherham town centre and played a key part in designing the company’s original cryogenic valve range – many of which are still within its range today and continue to set the benchmark in terms of performance and operation in the field.

During his career, Fretwell has travelled extensively across Europe, the US, China and South Korea, gaining a worldwide reputation for his knowledge and expertise in the industry. He has been actively involved in a groundbreaking Deep Sea Recovery Project, which aims to engineer systems to recover ships cargo from the bottom of the seabed, which uses the latest valve technology.

Fretwell was also on the ISO committee that determined the BSI (British Standards) for valves.

Renowned within the company for his love of astrophysics, Fretwell’s colleagues in the factory produced a planetarium made from some of the Globe and Ball valves that he has designed during his career. He was also presented with a ‘This is your life’ style book, tracking his journey from his youth to becoming Technical Director of Bestobell Valves.

Fretwell reflected, “I’ve had an exciting and memorable career at Bestobell Valves. I was really touched with the planetarium and the book as I’ve some great memories of my time here.”