Road sweeper Bobby clocks up 40 years

IPSWICH's own Trigger, veteran road sweeper Bobby Spinks, stepped into the limelight this week to be heralded as one of the town's most dedicated workers.

IPSWICH's own Trigger, veteran road sweeper Bobby Spinks, stepped into the limelight this week to be heralded as one of the town's most dedicated workers.

In a world of discarded cigarette butts and takeaway food wrappers Bobby has well and truly swept his sworn enemy – litter - away.

With a friendly wave or smile and an iron will to clean the streets, the long-serving town centre "barrow" has pounded the pavements with his trusty broom and spade for an incredible four decades.

The Ipswich Borough Council cleansing worker has patrolled town centre streets on the lookout for rubbish eight hours a day, five days a week, since December 1962.

Workmates estimate that each day he covers about ten miles walking up and down nearly 40 streets in his round and in more than 40 years they say he could have walked more than 80,000 miles.

Bobby's boss, Ipswich Borough Council's cleansing department operatives manager Dylan Cross, said: "He's worth his weight in gold.

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"I've been here 22 years and I know that our services are built on people who are 100 per cent reliable and Bobby is one of them."

Bobby, 59, accepted his job as a barrow in his late teens after following in the footsteps of his father Harold, who worked as a barrow in Ipswich for 20 years.

He said: "I don't mind it at all. People stop and talk to me.

"It wasn't quite so bad when I started. It was a lot cleaner before all the takeaway shops came in."

Bobby, of Pickwick Road, Ipswich, has been commended for his 40 years' service with a Mayor of Ipswich Unsung Hero award, which was presented by mayor Roger Fern at a ceremony at Christchurch Mansion last week.

Bobby said: "He gave me a certificate and a gold medal.

"They're now pinned up at home."

It is an award that his supervisor, Danny Cooch, says is well deserved.

Mr Cooch said: "He's got a heart of gold. He's very honest, always handing wallets in when he finds them.

"He's had letters from members of the public saying what a good job he's been doing. I can't remember ever, ever having a complaint about Bobby."

Unlike the Only Fools and Horses road sweeper Trigger, who hilariously told his mate Sid that he had kept the same broom for 20 years and said 'this old broom has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time', Bobby has not become quite so sentimental about his broom and has changed it every two or three months.

"I haven't had an attachment to it," he joked. "He stuck to his though."

n. Opinion see page six.

n. Do you know someone who has served more than 40 years doing the same job? Let us know by writing to Evening Star Newsdesk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or calling on 01473 324788.

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