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Chris says farewell to the Tidy Team after 27 years

Having served the town of Driffield and its residents for the past 27 years, long-serving Tidy Team member Chris Brotherton has hung up his tools to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Chris joined Driffield Town Council’s Tidy Team in June 1995 and soon became a familiar face in the town, known for his cheery disposition, willingness to help and attention to detail.

Working alongside colleagues, Andy Wilson, Rob Flake, Peter Shannon and David Dale, Chris has turned his hand to just about everything and anything over the years.

The Tidy Team carry out a host of duties including gritting in the winter; maintaining and emptying litter bins; street cleansing, grass and hedge cutting; running the market; maintenance of public toilets, the allotments and street furniture; and town council events such as the Christmas lights switch on, to name but a few.

Chris said he will miss the camaraderie of his work colleagues and his interaction with the people of Driffield.

“Anyone who has worked in the same job for 27 years shows real dedication to what they do.

“I’ve been with the council for 10 years and in all that time I have never seen anything from Chris other than care and interest in the work he does.

“He has been a massive asset to Driffield Town Council and the people of Driffield.

“The way the Tidy Team has developed over the years is a real benefit to the town and without them so many things would go undone that people wouldn’t realise.

“We will all miss Chris and his experience and knowledge, but he leaves the Tidy Team in good hands and the forward planning to bring in new members has worked really well and ensured the skills have been passed on to the next generation.

“We wish Chris all the best in his retirement.”

Driffield mayor Cllr Mark Blakeston

He said: “I first joined the Tidy Team in June 1995 and the last 27 years have just flown by.

“After serving in the army for nine years, I spent two years at Twydales and then another nine years at Shouler’s Butchers, but suffering from arthritis, butchery and working in the fridges wasn’t great.

“I was looking for a change of role and I had done some voluntary work for the town council helping to put up the Christmas lights and that gave me the opportunity to apply there.

“I think we have done just about everything and anything from street cleansing, grass cutting, hanging baskets, the bonfire and Christmas lights – you name it we’ve had a go at it!”

Chris said being part of the Tidy Team has given him immense pride and that one of the highlights was creating the poignant poppy installation at the Millennium Clock to mark the centenary anniversary of the end of the First World War.

“I have always enjoyed the independence of the job and being able to get on with the work without someone constantly looking over your shoulder,” he said.

“I also like that you can always see an end result in the work we do.

“One of the highlights was when we made the poppies to go around the base of the Millennium Clock. Being ex-Forces, this had special significance to me and was respected and valued by the people of the town.

“You couldn’t ask for nicer people than those you meet in Driffield. They are always appreciative of what we do and polite and they are just a nice bunch of people.

“I shall miss the camaraderie of the job – not just with my work colleagues, but also being out and about and amongst the public.”

Chris intends to keep himself busy in retirement and has already lined up a few jobs helping out some elderly residents in the town with odd jobs.

He added: “It has taken me by surprise just how quickly 27 years has disappeared, but if you enjoy what you are doing, it flies by.

“People will still see me about – I’m like a bad penny you can’t get rid of me that easily!”

To mark his retirement, a presentation evening was held at Driffield Town Council Offices last Thursday, which also marked Chris’ 66th birthday.

Town clerk Claire Binnington said: “Driffield Town Council is very sorry to see Chris Brotherton leave, however we wish him a long and very happy retirement.

“Chris has given almost 27 years of dedicated and committed service to Driffield Town Council, to the people of Driffield and our town. His positive, enthusiastic and helpful approach, where nothing ever seemed too much to ask, has been very greatly appreciated by not just us but everyone he came into contact with.

“They don’t make them like Chris any more and we are very proud to have worked alongside him and we cherish the many laughs and camaraderie we have shared over the years. We wish him and Sue all the very best for the future, he will be very greatly missed by our team and thank him for his hard work, commitment and dedication to the Tidy Team, the council and Driffield.”

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