Harrow council’s longest serving employee was treated to tea with the Queen.

Michael Gibbs, who has worked for the authority for 45 years and has been described as "an asset to the borough", attended the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace with his wife Cheryl yesterday.

Mr Gibbs, who is assistant manager at the Waste Re-use and Recycling Centre, was invited to the palace in recognition of his years of service.

He said: “I was notified by the Mayor of Harrow’s office and sent an invite from the palace.

“It is a great honour to have been invited to attend this function at Buckingham Palace.”

Mr Gibbs, 61, started work at the council in his teens in 1969 as an apprentice carpenter and joiner in Wealdstone, where his first wage was £3 4s.

He said: “When I was 16 I wanted to be a carpenter and Harrow Council was a good place to work with very skilled and experienced craftsmen.

“I have worked with many different personalities and characters over the years– both young and old and have also enjoyed the daily challenges that presented themselves and the sense of achievement in dealing with them.

“Over the 45 years there have been many good times, the variety of work as carpenter and joiner in the village style atmosphere straight from school with old style carpenters in the 1960s and 70s.

“Though there was also the recessions, and cut backs as well as challenges on the workforce to keep the system going - the good times outweighed the bad and I look forward to many more years to come.”

Alan Whiting, Michael’s line manager said: “Mick deserves this because he has been a loyal and extremely hardworking member of staff who will always go over and above to ensure that people can be accommodated, helped and assisted.

“He is an asset to Harrow.”