Brian landed his dream job

Calderdale Council gardener Brian Mansfield
Calderdale Council gardener Brian Mansfield

BRIAN Mansfield is retiring after 46 years of working in the landscaping industry.

The 60-year-old, who is area manager for Calderdale Council’s Safer Cleaner Greener team in the Lower Valley area which covers Brighouse, said it hadn’t been an easy decision.

“I have mixed feelings about leaving. I’m going to miss all the lads I have worked with, some for more than 20 years. I have been very fortunate because I have met some really nice people in this job,” he said.

Brian’s career in landscaping started on July 7, 1965, when he was hired as an apprentice gardener for Halifax Council at the age of 15.

And after a number of years working in Halifax and Sowerby Bridge he got a job with West Riding County Council which was taken over by Calderdale in 1974. “I worked for the education mobile unit which involved going round all the schools and doing landscaping and ground maintenance,” he said. “Over the years it has just been a great job which I have been paid for.”

After various reorganisations within the council Brian who lives at Norton Tower, Halifax, worked his way up the ladder until he was appointed area manager of the Lower Valley. He was often seen in Wellholme Park, Brighouse, and has played a key role in developing many of the open spaces in the borough.

“It is an interesting job and a good career for people. I find it is never boring. When you pick the phone up it could be someone wanting something simple like some bags of rubbish removing or a councillor who has just had a complaint from residents about fly-tipping.

“I would hope people think we do a pretty good job. I think they appreciate what we do and councillors have always been very supportive.

“But my wife Ann has got a list of jobs for me to do when I retire. She has started a ring binder with them all in an order of priority.”

The father-of-two is hoping to spend some quality time with his wife who is a retired school teacher, and travel around England before eventually doing Europe.

But Brian won’t be disappearing from the community because he plans to stay involved in groups such as Brighouse in Bloom, the FLORA group in Rastrick and plans to continue supporting Malcolm Silkstone in Bailiff Bridge.

“I will be a lay person giving advice to the groups so they can obtain money through grants but I will be very much be taking a back seat,” he said.

Brian, who finishes on April 29, will be replaced by Phillip Schofield.