A City of Lincoln Council employee who worked for the local authority for 50 years will retire at the end of the week.
Lincoln-born Housing Estate Officer Graham Fotheringham started at the council as an apprentice joiner on April 15, 1963, but moved into a career supporting tenants.
Initially, he used to push steel-rimmed handcarts for transporting tools and materials across the city, before getting a ‘butcher’s bike’.
He said: “My first manager Mr Cyril Hill was an inspiration because he always took an interest in everyone and always spoke to you on a personal basis.
“I’ve always tried to talk to tenants and colleagues at any level and earn mutual respect and I’ve been lucky to have had great people around me.”
Graham Fotheringham has seen all kinds of interesting sights during his time at the City Council — from being chased by dogs on a cycle home to a rescued parrot being told off by its owner for being a “naughty boy”.
He started his current role as an estate officer 12 years ago.
He said: “I have met so many people and had so many laughs through my work and the tenants have been the heart and soul of my time here.
“I saw real poverty and shared people’s struggles by talking to them and they made me more interested in people and taught me a lot about life and myself.”
In his last week, Graham has been meeting some of the tenants he has helped, plus tanking his colleagues for their support.
It was while working in his role he met his wife, Gill, who asked the council to fix her door while she was a tenant.
The council’s Chief Executive Andrew Taylor said: “Graham’s achievement is quite exceptional. It is not uncommon for people to spend their entire career in local government but it is very rare that people get to 50 years.
“Graham has been liked and respected by thousands of tenants over the years and, as much as we will miss him, it is they who will miss him most.”
Graham is now looking forward to sharing time with Gill and their three children and three grandchildren before enjoying a well earned holiday.