A dental technician of 54 years has bid goodbye to his Romford patients and said he did not wish to leave a job which has been his life.

Anthony Roberts, 75, retired from Romford Denture Clinic last month with his former colleague Scott Potter, 54, taking the practice over.

The pair met in 1986 when Anthony took Scott on as a work experience placement at the old premises in Rumford Shopping Hall.

They have been friends ever since and even graduated from their respective courses at the Royal College of Surgeons on the same day in 2011.

Anthony, who commuted two hours daily to the Romford Shopping Hall practice from his Buckinghamshire home, said Scott was the ideal replacement since it had been difficult to find a qualified dental technician willing to buy the clinic.

He said people in Romford had made his work a joy, especially elderly couples who he befriended.

"It's been my life," Anthony said. "I got a lot of job satisfaction from helping people out.

"They've been good to me over the years [residents] and loyal - people have stuck with me and kept coming back."

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Anthony, who started his business in 1982 after working at another practice in Western Road from 1970, added that he was glad he was able to support grieving widows.

"Older people would often come down in couples, and you might've made them both dentures, but sometimes one came in on their own and you'd find out the other passed away.

"It has been nice to support them and talk to them about it," Anthony said.

Scott praised Anthony, who he worked with from 1986 to 1990 in the old Rumford Shopping Hall, before moving on to other ventures.

"He was very skilled and precise," Scott said. "A great mentor and I learned a lot from him coming in green.

"He had a very good work ethic and made sure the job always got done," he added.

Anthony, who used to live in Hornchurch before moving to Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, said Scott was the ideal replacement.

"Scott was the perfect person to replace me," he said. "And I'd like to thank everybody for their business and loyalty."

Anthony said he did not want to retire as he loved the job so much, but felt the time was right.

"I enjoyed what I did enormously," Anthony said. "I didn't want to retire - I started to regret it but I had to take it at some stage of my life."