Exmouth man Mike retires after 50 years at EDDC
PUBLISHED: 07:02 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:09 19 April 2017
A green-fingered district council worker - who has spent half-a-century keeping East Devon’s parks looking bloomin’ brilliant - has retired.
Mike Vine joined the authority 50 years ago - days after leaving school to work in its Exmouth nursery.
Over the course of five decades, the parks improvement officer has maintained the area’s green spaces, helping to win accolades at Britain in Bloom, South West in Bloom and the Green Flag Awards.
To mark his retirement, East Devon District Council (EDDC) chief executive Mark Williams has organised for the 65-year-old and his wife Jayne to attend one of the Queen’s garden parties next month.
Mike, of Bradford Close, Exmouth, said: “Although we have won all these awards, the public are my judges because they see on a daily basis what we do. To have the general public say thinks like, ‘the gardens are looking beautiful’ - what they think, that’s important to me.”
The grandfather-of-three also praised the ‘in bloom’ groups which he has worked with over the years in maintaining the towns’ gardens and parks.
Mike added: “They are the vital cog in the wheel in how the towns look. It’s been an enjoyable part of the job working with the voluntary groups.”
Andrew Hancock, service lead for EDDC’s StreetScene, said: “Mike is a truly lovely gentleman and well-liked by all of the teams he interacts with. He is affectionately known as ‘Sir Mike’, owing to his length of service, extensive and expert knowledge of all things horticulture at East Devon and his manners.
“He has been a core member of our StreetScene team for so long and is solely responsible for the beautiful bedding and planting designs, which so many people come to see our formal parks for. He will leave with a wealth of historical knowledge and we will miss his expertise and guardianship of the horticultural standards in our parks and gardens.”