Eric Smith – who works for Worcestershire’s largest social landlord Fortis Living, part of Platform Housing Group – will leave his role as a Maintenance Inspector on Monday 20 January 2020, exactly 50 years and one day since he started.
Eric said : “My journey began on 19 January 1970 when I joined Martley Rural District Council as a plumber; little did I know that I would remain with the same firm – under different names – for the rest of my working life!
“Looking back it all seemed so primitive, no mobile phones, no computers and buckets for toilets.”
In 1974, the rural district councils – including Martley – were amalgamated to become Malvern District Council; shortly afterwards, Eric was promoted to Assistant Manager of Malvern’s Direct Labour Organisation, then Manager and in 1986 to Maintenance Inspector.
During his 50 years, Eric has seen many changes. He explained : “From such small beginnings, I have seen such an incredible growth in the work that we do. In 1995 the old council housing stock was transferred to the newly formed Elgar Housing Association, which then merged to become Festival Housing and again to Fortis Living. And now we have merged again to become Platform Housing Group.”
Eric, who lives in Worcestershire and has been married to Carol for 53 years, is a father to two children, a grandfather to four, a step grandfather to three and a step great grandfather to a further four.
Steve Summerfield, Maintenance Manager (Responsive) for Fortis Living said : “Eric’s knowledge and level of experience has spanned an incredible 50 years; he will be sorely missed, not just by the team but by me personally. It has been a real pleasure to have known Eric and work with him and we all wish him well in this next chapter of his life.”
Eric said : “I have so many fond memories of my time here; one of the highlights was launching and delivering a community project for the disabled with Malvern Lions Club called It’s a Knock Out at The Three Counties Showground; I’m proud to say that it is still going strong after 10 years!
“It’s been such a memorable journey, meeting so many amazing people. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work!”
Eric plans to spend time with his family and tend to his garden ahead of the summer when he plans to throw regular parties.
He concluded : “Would I do it all again? Yes of course I would!”
Fortis Living is part of Platform Housing Group which provides more than 45,000 homes from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.
For further information please contact Steve Summerfield, Maintenance Manager (Responsive) on 01684 579464 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.