Clitheroe council stalwart retires after 40 years

Roger Hirst
Roger Hirst

One of the council’s longest serving employees has retired after working for the authority for more than four decades.

Roger Hirst (77), began his career in local government at Clitheroe and Ribble Valley in March 1974 – before the division of Ribble Valley and Clitheroe Councils.

He initially served as Parks and Cemeteries for Ribble Valley and was appointed to Clitheroe Town Council’s allotment manager at local government reorganisation in 1974 and as Town Sergeant from 1989.

Over the years he has been in charge of a number of varied roles including play area inspector, flying the flag on appointed days, ensuring that the gardens around the war memorial were looked after, erecting the town centre Christmas Lights and cultivating window boxes for shops. A past president of Ribblesdale Rotary Club, Roger was instrumental in assisting in organising many of the firework displays both at Clitheroe’s successful Torchlight Processions and Rotary Bonfires. Over the decades, he has served many Town Mayors and was well known for ceremonially carrying the mace. He is an active member of the Clitheroe Bonfire Committee and Ribblesdale Rotary Club and has been responsible for setting off the signal rockets that marks the two minutes silence on November 11th.

The father-of-two, who is married to Janice, said: “I have enjoyed working in Clitheroe and serving the community and Town Council. It has been an extremely rewarding job.”

Paying tribute to Roger’s hard work and dedication, Clitheroe Town Mayor, Coun. Mark French, said: “On behalf of the Town Council and myself, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger for his many years of service as Sergeant at Arms.

“He has been a constant and ‘reassuring’ presence for Clitheroe Town Mayors and has always safely guided us through each Mayor Making Ceremony and we will always be grateful to him for that.

“His steady hand on the tiller will be missed though personally I am lucky enough to still see his warm smile and enjoy his company at Mayoral functions that we both attend. Good luck and enjoy your retirement Roger, you’ve earned it.”