FORTY workers at an East Lancashire aerospace firm have notched up a combined 1,000 plus years.

Long-service award winners from Safran Nacelles, in Burnley, had earned recognition for anything from 25 to 40 years at the Bancroft Road operation.

Many had even worked for the outfit when it was known as Lucas, before the 1987 buyout by Hurel-Dubois.

Further incarnations as Hurel-Hispano and Aircelle followed before it was renamed in 2016.

Richard Butler had clocked up the lengthiest stint, with 45 years service, after originally signing on as a Lucas apprentice in 1974.

He said: "I have met and worked with some great people who I am still friends with today, during my time working on various programs from RB211 back in the 70s to the latest programs A320neo, A330neo, Passport20 and Pearl700,.

"I have seen some great improvements in the various manufacturing processes and the introduction of some fantastic new technologies."

Michael Rigalle, managing director at Safran, added: "It was a real honour to welcome some of our longest serving employees to our long service awards to mark their many years of service with the company.

"Some who have been with us for more than 40 years. It was fantastic to hear their stories about how the company has changed and progressed in their time.

"Over the years many changes have happened to our business, and I am proud that these colleagues have played such an important role in our growth."