Clinton Devon Estates' longest serving employee retires
The longest serving employee with the land management business Clinton Devon Estates has retired after clocking-up 50 years of continuous service in a job that began as a temporary summer post.
Gardener Brian Stacey, from Merton in North Devon was just fifteen years old when he joined the Heanton Estate's maintenance department for the summer months.
Brian recalled: "I left Torrington School and applied to the Land Agent Mr Roy Puddicombe for a job. I went to meet the foreman at the maintenance works and he told me that Mr Puddicombe would take me on for the summer months. That was in 1962 and I have often thought that it was a very long summer!"
Brian joined the 21-strong maintenance team which was responsible for sawing timber over the winter months and, during the summer, maintaining the Estate properties. Brian said: "I spent much of my time painting; the houses in cream and green and the farm and coach yard in cream and maroon. It was also my job to replace roof slates and although I also used to work as the local chimney sweep, I never really had much of a head for heights! The worst job was cleaning the gutters at Great Potteridge, a mansion near Merton, which was a 40 feet high climb."
In more recent years, Brian has worked as an Estates gardener. He said: "Gardening is my passion and now I'm retired I will be spending more time in my own garden - if the rain ever stops!"
At a retirement celebration, Brian was presented with a set of crystal glasses and a long service certificate from the Estate. His friends and colleagues presented him with a barometer.
Brian is one of a number of employees who have worked for Clinton Devon Estates for over 30 years. Earlier this year the company that manages 25,000 acres of Devon countryside, was named by the Sunday Times as the 24th best small organisation to work for in the UK.
Estates director John Varley paid tribute to Brian for his half century with the company. He said: "Brian is the longest serving employee in living memory here at the Estates and we are extremely grateful for his hard work and commitment - especially when he thought he was just going to be with us for the summer! We wish him every happiness in his retirement."