On a roll! Meet the man who has travelled three times around the world painting double yellow lines
Meet the man who has been painting double yellow lines and has travelled more than THREE times around the world.
Andy Wilks has been painting road markings since 1986, earning himself the nickname ‘The Godfather of Line Painting’.
In his 29 years of service, the 61-year-old estimates he paints at least 11miles of lines a day – which totals a whopping 83,259 miles.
Andy, from Bradford, West Yorks, said: “I knew it was a long way but not that far!
“You just get your head down and get on with it.
“I’ve never kept a close count of how far I travel but if I think it’s roughly 11 miles per day.”
Andy has been in the game for so long that he now acts as the teacher for the next generation of road markers.
Andy, for Norwich-based company Jointline, said: “All the youngsters are now sent to me, I show them the ropes and get them started,” he said.
“I can tell who will make it and who won’t. I’d definitely say I’m the Godfather of line painting.”
Whilst he has never painted abroad, Andy’s job has taken him to all different ends of the country.
He’s also had his fair share of close shaves whilst working alongside fast-moving traffic, but he says it’s never put him off.
Andy said: “I’ve been knocked over three times all in all but they’ve never been that bad, no serious injuries so far thankfully.
“I don’t think anyone would blame me if I packed it in after being knocked down but I love this industry so much so it’s never been bad enough to put me off.”
Andy also says the industry has changed remarkably from the one he joined three decades ago.
Andy said: “It’s definitely a lot safer now, when I first started I had to just get out of the lorry at the side of the road and start painting, with a couple of guys directing traffic.
“Now you have to close roads and set up all sorts of diversions for us to do our work and there’s a lot more machinery involved.”
However, despite his long service, road marking wasn’t his primary job at first as he goes on to explain.
Andy said: “I was a mechanic at first earning about £35 a week but a friend of mine started up a road marking business and I did a bit of part-time work for him,” he said.
“I was earning £100 a day doing the road marking so it made sense to take it up full time. I’m very glad I did!
“It’s a good game to be in, you get to travel to lots of different places and meet lots of different people.”
Because of this, Andy says retiring has not yet crossed his mind despite coming towards the twilight of his career.
Andy said: “I’ve never really thought about retiring. I’m still enjoying it and I’m still healthy so why shouldn’t I carry on?
“I’m still fit and it’s a job that keeps me active, so I think I’ll be painting for a while yet.”