Working in the same place for 45 years has been a different challenge every year for maintenance “maestro” Mike Newton.
Retiring in July from Bedford College, Mike has witnessed the development from “Mander College” to The Bedford College Group of today.
Director of Estate, Diane Gamble, said: “Mike has played a pivotal role within the Estates & Facilities department especially within the maintenance section, but also with regard to the many physical changes to the make-up of the college and will be much missed by all his colleagues.”
Since 1973 Mike has been involved in the growth of the college from the Cauldwell Street campus through the opening of the Motor Vehicle and Gas and Plumbing training centres in Triumph Way, Kempston, to the acquisition of Shuttleworth College, the opening of the IT Learning Centres, Brooks Hair & Beauty in Bedford High Street and the creation of The Bedford Sixth Form at the old High School, Bromham Road.
“I’ve seen a tremendous range of changes over that time, probably which others will not, as no one seems to stay a job for that long these days. It’s been different all the time though with always new challenges coming along,” said Mike.
The latest development is the opening this autumn of the Advanced Engineering, Centre complete with robotics and more, on the Cauldwell Street campus. To mark his leaving, his colleagues arranged for him to lay the last slab on the roof level terrace of building – with the help of Ashe Construction.
Work over, Mike won’t be resting easy. He has couple of classic cars which he has rebuilt from scratch and has friends and family who have “just got a little job they want me to look at”.
Mike started his career working for his father in an unofficial apprenticeship as an electrical engineer: “It taught me to get the job done right the first time as going back to put it right was much harder work.”
Ian Pryce CBE, Principal and CEO of Bedford College for 20 years+plus said: “It is said organisations don’t value loyalty any more. We definitely do. To have devoted 45 years of your life to serving your community in the high performance culture we have at the college shows how special Mike is. He has become part of the fabric and history of the college, and helped transform our campuses during his time with us. Everyone will miss him but he deserves his well-earned retirement.”