A 61-YEAR-OLD who helped guide Burton out of poverty through the 60s and 70s has bid farewell to his colleagues after 40 years.
Colin Channer, of Denton Road, Burton, was a rent collector and witnessed the transition of the old council’s ‘dilapidated’ housing stock to Trent and Dove.
Mr Channer started work at Ind Coope in charge of deliveries.
He said: “Everyone was employed by the breweries in those days as they were such huge companies. We are going back to a time where you just phoned up and were offered a job. In the 1960s employment was quite available.”
In 1973, aged 20, he became a rent collector for what was the Burton County Borough. But four months later it became East Staffordshire District Council.
He said: “I remember Burton was a very smoky and smelly place. It was pretty dark and dingy
“A lot of houses were dilapidated and there was abject poverty.
“I remember there were a row of council owned terraces in Hawkins Lane. They had outdoor toilets and had just got running water and this was in the 70s.”
He then took a job as a lettings officer at the council as an opportunity came up for a professional qualification in the Institute of Housing from 1979 to 1988.
He became a district housing manager in Uttoxeter ‘which at that time had 1,500 to 2,000 homes’ and was in charge of repair, maintenance, allocation of debts, welfare.
In 2000, the new East Staffordshire Borough Council transferred its housing stock to Trent & Dove and Mr Channer transferred back to Burton, managing the Burton and Horninglow offices as a performance and project manager. His job included managing contract work such as grounds maintenance, cleaning services and homelessness.
Comparing his first years in the job, he said: “The difference now is housing is more concerned in supporting the communities and individuals. We are trying to give people not only the opportunity to live in accommodation but take an active role in improving their lives
Trent and Dove is an organisation which tries to improve the environment their tenants live in rather than just allocating and taking rent. It tries to solve social problems that exist. Very often we are helping people who are at their very lowest.”
Trent and Dove has made a great contribution to Burton society, improved housing stock and supported people.