Driffield NewsNEWS

Eric steps down as Driffield Community Centre’s caretaker

Described as the ‘backbone’ of Driffield Community Centre, fond farewells have been made to Eric Lawson who has retired as caretaker after 30 years in the role.

Eric was the original caretaker when the community centre opened in 1994 and over the last three decades he and his wife Dorothy, who also worked at the centre, have dedicated their time to ensuring the venue has been spick and span for all the groups who use the community space.

A farewell celebration took place last Friday (24th May), when Eric was presented with a lawnmower, as well as other gifts, cards and vouchers from the community centre committee and representatives from groups that use the centre.

The community centre stalwart said he had no idea the committee had planned the surprise celebration and he thanked everyone for their generous gifts and good wishes.

He said: “I joined the community centre when it first opened in 1994 and I have been here ever since.

“I have really enjoyed the role, especially meeting different people, and I have made some very good friends.

“Dorothy has also worked here for as long as I have cleaning once a week and she was known as Mrs Eric.

“I would really like to thank her for her support, because the role of caretaker can be demanding and can see you called on at all times.”

Eric was born and raised in West Lutton where he met Dorothy at West Lutton School. The couple married in 1963 and after working in West Knapton in North Yorkshire, the couple gained work for the Healey family.

During this time, they moved with the family to America, first to Connecticut and then to Palm Beach in Florida, where Eric was a chauffeur, gardener and handyman and Dorothy worked as a housekeeper.

Eric Lawson with Cllr Paul Rounding

On returning to England, Eric worked as a handyman before working for KC Cars as a driver for 16 years.
The 82-year-old won’t be slowing down too much because he plans to spend his retirement doing gardening jobs around Driffield and catching up with some jobs at home.

He will also keep his ties with the community centre by joining the committee.

He said: “I am staying on the committee, so I will still be involved.

“I have enjoyed all my years here and I was amazed to see everybody here for my send-off – I think there is somebody here from nearly every class that uses the centre.

“I would like to thank everybody very much for the lawnmower and all the gifts, cards and vouchers. It means such a lot.”

Paul Rounding from the Driffield Community Centre committee thanked Eric for his tremendous work and dedication over the years.

He said: “Eric has been a stalwart of this community centre. He has been here right from the start covering seven days a week, 365 days a year – even Christmas Day.

“Eric has seen lots of changes and nothing has ever been too much trouble for him. He has done a tremendous job and has been the backbone of this community centre.

“I really appreciate everything he, and Dorothy, have done and we thank them both for everything.”

New caretakers Richard Harper and Sharon McCann have taken over the role.

Anyone who would like to book the Community Centre is asked to telephone the centre on 01377 254182 and leave a message until the new online system is up and running.

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