Balfour Beatty has announced that its managing director for the north of Scotland is retiring after a 40 year career in the industry.
Aberdeen-based George Hood recently oversaw the completion of the £22.3 million Third Don Crossing for the giant construction and civil engineering firm.
The major project marked one of the last chapters of a career that started for Mr Hood as a 19-year old trainee quantity surveyor in 1975 with the firm Alexander Hall, which would later become Hall & Tawse.
This was eventually be bought by the Scottish construction firm, Mansell, a part of Balfour Beatty since 2003.
When he started out Mr Hood took home a salary of £1,301 from an industry that was “booming” in the north east of the country, even before the discovery of oil in the North Sea.
He said: “We were putting up lots of multi-storey flats for the council” and the sector was also meeting the needs of a whisky industry that demanded the building of bonded warehouses.
But it was with the oil boom of the 1980s a construction frenzy began.
“All of a sudden Aberdeen was flooded with Yanks – high rollers”, said Mr Hood. “We were busy busy, building all the sort of stuff you would get in a frontier-style town.”
Office blocks and hotels went up for the oil industry executives and workers, followed by a boom in pubs, nightclubs and restaurants.
Within eight years of starting in the industry, Mr Hood was project surveyor on a number of large Aberdeen office developments that would transform the city, including at the Hill of Rubislaw for ConocoPhilips, Marathon Oil and Britoil.
He would later also project manage the Bon Accord shopping centre and oversaw the demolition of George Street. One of the ironies of his career was building a hospitality suite at Ibrox Stadium, despite being a life-long Celtic fan.