Erewash Borough Council has marked the end of an era when its longest serving employee Stuart Peel retired after a remarkable 51 years of service.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, was joined by Stuart’s colleagues past and present to congratulate him and wish him well in his retirement at Long Eaton Town Hall on Wednesday 28 February.
Stuart (68) started his career with the former Long Eaton Urban District Council – which became Erewash Borough Council as part of local government reorganisation in 1974 - and has dedicated just over half a century to his many roles within the parks team.
He is a familiar face to many residents in Long Eaton and is best known for his 20 plus years as the Long Eaton Team Leader. This role saw him use nearly 13,000 plants - all cultivated from cuttings at the town’s West Park nurseries - to hand craft stunning floral displays in the town centre each year. He would then work throughout the summer to maintain the eye-catching designs as they blossomed.
Times have changed and that skillful way of working is gone, with blocks of plants now brought in that slot together like a jigsaw to create a display.
Stuart, who lives in Sawley with wife Anne, says:
“Of all my roles, it was my time creating those displays that I enjoyed the most. They were my pride and joy.”
He went on to serve as Team Leader for maintenance and preparation of sports areas for 12 years and in recent times has been based at West Park nurseries in Long Eaton with the sports team.
Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, praised Stuart’s service to local government in Erewash:
“Stuart has been such a popular member of our parks team for more than half a century. It is an incredible achievement and I know his colleagues both past and present share my belief that we will never see his like again.
“He has been a role model for all our employees in the parks teams over the years - always happy to share his knowledge and experience so others can learn. He has continued to inspire the younger staff right up until his well-deserved retirement. All of us at Erewash Borough Council wish Stuart well for a long and happy retirement.”
PHOTO: Stuart is pictured with his wife Anne and the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson.