A CONVOY of construction vehicles was assembled to mark a landmark anniversary for a boss hailed as a “hero” by his staff.

Ron Isaac, chairman of the Ringwood-based Raymond Brown Group, has reached his 50th year of continuous service to the business.

He was given a surprise celebration which involved 20 company vehicles – from a Ford Fiesta to a bulk transporter – driving past in his honour.

The group’s chief executive, Kelvin White, said the event was a “recognition of his contribution in bringing about the values that this company is run by”.

He said: “If you talk to people about the stories they’ve got about him, there’s that common theme of honesty, integrity, hard work. They sound clichés but they’re real. They exist here and we’re all happy to be guided by those in how we operate our business. We win business by our reputation and that’s driven by Ron.”

He added: “I don’t have many heroes but he’s one of them.”

As Mr Isaac arrived for work, he was greeted with a forecourt display consisting of an articulated hauler, a loading shovel and a restored classic International BTD-6 – the machine he first used when he joined the company as a trainee plant operator in 1964.

Ron rose to become contracts director in 1975. He succeeded Raymond Brown as MD in 1982 and as chairman in 1995.

At the celebration, Mr Isaac was presented with a book filled with comments from staff, many describing him as an “inspiration” and “role model”.

Mr Isaac said afterwards: “Never in my life could I feel that I would get as emotional as when those vehicles came along the road. I just wish Raymond could have been here to see them.”

He added: “Fifty years is a long time and I have always enjoyed my work. Would I do the same again? Yes I would. I would not change my life.”

The company, which was the subject of a management buyout in 2010, consists of Wilkins Builders, Raymond Brown Builders, Waste Solutions, Raymond Brown Aggregates and Raymond Brown Construction. It employs 420 staff and has a turnover of almost £90m.