Three is the magic number for some of our longest-standing tradesmen


Three of our tradesmen celebrated an astronomical forty years’ service with the organisation today (Tuesday 7 July 2020).

Painter and decorator, Dave Nield, and joiners, Keith Garrod and Phil Sidlow, all left school aged just fifteen and started their lengthy career as fresh-faced apprentices in the summer of 1980.

Back then, the trio joined the building services department of Oldham Council which eventually became our Property Care team when we officially became a registered provider in February 2011.

When asked about their fantastic achievement and what made them stay working for one organisation all this time, the common answer was people.

Phil Sidlow said: “I’ve made some tremendous friends along the way and that’s what’s kept me here all these years. Whether there’s lots of you on a big job or just a couple of you on a smaller one, everyone gets on with each other and we all have a great laugh.”

“I remember the time years ago when Keith and I were working together as young lads and we had to pick up a dumper truck. I followed Keith as he drove it back to the depot how he didn’t crash, I’ll never know! If you’ve never driven a dumper, the steering wheel turns in the opposite direction to regular vehicles so you can imagine what his driving was like. I was in absolute hysterics following him; it was just so funny to watch.”

Keith Garrod added: “That was one of many amusing times. We once had an apprentice with us fitting doors and floors. He was putting adhesive down in one of the rooms ready for the floor to go on and I remember hearing him worriedly shouting my name.

“I went upstairs and found him stuck in a corner. He’d laid the adhesive from the door to the corner, instead of from the corner to the door. I had to tile the floor for him just to get him out! Oh how we chuckled!”

Dave Nield, who is affectionately known among colleagues as Painterman, said: “I’ll never forget the time we had to paint a particular terraced house. The house number was obvious from the front, but from the back, not so much. We painted the front and counted the back gates to what we thought was the back of the house. We did a great job (if I do say so myself) until we realised it was in fact their neighbours’ house!”

Fortunately, despite the amusing frolics of their early careers, the lads learned from their frivolous demeanours and grew with the company into three extremely skilled tradesmen.

Heidi Thompson, Executive Director of Homes and Investment, said: “Forty years’ service is such an amazing achievement for these three members of staff.

“Things are certainly very different now from what it was like all that time ago, but their work ethic, attitudes and skillset have only strengthened as the years have gone by.

“All three are a credit to our Property Care team and we are so proud to have them as part of our organisation.”

Dave, Keith And Phil 1