Published Friday 22 December 2023 at 9:55
Trevor Smith – Senior Technical Officer in the Highways department – is retiring at the end of December after a staggering 55 years service at BwD.
No other member of staff has had a longer continuous employment with the Council.
Trevor (72), who is born and bred in Blackburn, started work at the Council straight from school in 1968 at the age of 17, taking up his first role in the general office of Highways in Council, which was then the County Borough of Blackburn.
He then moved on to different positions within the Highways department, before taking up his current role, and has been based all over the borough including Blackburn Town Hall, Castleway House (as part of the Capita Partnership) and latterly Davyfield Depot, to name but a few.
A lifelong Blackburn Rovers fan, Trevor hasn’t made any firm plans for his retirement, but his wife Janet, who also had a long career at the Council, is also retiring, and the couple want to take a few more holidays abroad, as they already take regular trips to Turkey.
Trevor also wants to play more golf and spend more time with his three sons Mark, Simon and Gavin, and his three grandchildren – with one more on the way next year.
The borough, and the Council, have changed massively since Trevor started work in the late 1960s, and Trevor has been involved in many planning developments that have transformed BwD, including the pedestrianisation of Church Street and King William Street in Blackburn Town Centre, the building of Barbara Castle Way and the decommissioning of the town’s subway tunnels around Ainsworth Street – Trevor believes he may have been the last person to walk in the tunnels before they were closed.
It was a very different job when I started, we used to have to measure every street with the manual wheel measurement, we used to go under the culvert under the town centre to check they were OK, and the gritters we had in the 1970s were old army wagons that still had the gun turrets on them!
I’ve had a fantastic career and met some wonderful people and made some lifelong friends, people I have know for decades, back to the early days of working here.
I will miss the people and the camaraderie, and the work itself has been really fulfilling, I’ve been able to watch the borough change over the years and been able to play a part in that, which has been wonderful. But I am looking forward to relaxing and not having too many definite plans.”
Trevor met with Council Chief Executive Denise Park to celebrate his landmark service and to say a final farewell before his official retirement on December 30th. He was joined by colleagues Simon Jones, Growth Director, Chief Executive Denise Park, Saf Alam, Design and Development Manager, and Martin Eden, Strategic Director of Environment and Operations.
Denise Park said:
This is an incredible achievement, 55 years at the Council! Trevor has done an incredible job in that time and seen so many changes both in the borough and in the Council. He will be greatly missed by everyone who has worked with him in Planning, not only for his knowledge and expertise, but because they are saying goodbye to a good friend. I hope Trevor has a wonderful retirement and has a very well deserved rest!”
Martin Eden, Strategic Director of Environment and Operations, which includes Highways and Transport, said:
55 years service is an incredible milestone to reach, and Trevor has been an integral part of the Highways Team with more than five decades of dedication to the borough.
So much has changed over the last 55 years, with the borough and organisation almost unrecognisable to what it was all those years ago, but Trevor has moved with the times, been here for all the highs and lows and helped us make some important changes to the borough. I know he will be missed by all his friends and colleagues.”
Simon Jones, Growth Director who has worked with Trevor for over 25 years both with the Council and in Capita added:
The knowledge that Trevor has accumulated in 55 years is incredible, he is a walking database of facts about the borough and seems to know the details of every gulley and streetlight in the borough over the last five decades!
We are all going to miss him, not only his absolute wealth of knowledge and expertise he brought to Highways every day, but also his friendship, team spirit and mentoring of our younger engineers. I hope he thoroughly enjoys his retirement, he’s definitely earned it!”