He’s leaving town…. (and countryside)

The DeskToday’s a very special day for me – probably the most significant day in my life for many years, really. After twelve and a half years – virtually my whole working life – I’m moving on today.

In 1994 I came to work for the Countryside Commission, earning £6,400 per annum (gross), and on a four month contract. Things became permanent, as these things sometimes can if you try to make it happen.

In 1999, a merger took us into the Countryside Agency, and in October of last year, another reorganisation of the rural side of government gave birth to Natural England.

There have been one or two changes over the years, aside from salary. In 1994, our offices in Cheltenham were state of the art, running some lovely old computers with Pentium 486 processors, which did amazing things like run Wordperfect and even Lotus 123 spreadsheets. We emailed each other (internal ones only – the outside world contact didn’t come until 1997) and by 1999, we had access to the internet!

Since 2002, I’ve been commuting into Manchester by bike, and according to my records have covered about 27,200 commuting miles in that time. I’m not sure what the carbon saving I’ve been making is, but it’s pretty reasonable. I’ve been going through chains, brake blocks, gears and tyres quite a bit though.

I’m off out for some beers and bites with all my friends here this evening. Very much looking forward to that bit !

I’ll be working from home from Monday for Reverse Delta. More of that to come soon…..

  • Gareth

    All the best, Dave. It is with great regret that we see you leave, but a few drinks will ease the pain!

    I see this episode as just a change in our friendship from one that’s primarily work-based to one that’s primarily hill-based.

    One last favour – could you change the picture that goes with this article to make me look a bit less gormless?!

    Tatty bye from NWRO, mon ami!

  • Kim

    Yes, I agree, it’s not one of Gareth’s best pictures, infact if you look closely there’s a little bit of dribble on his chin. Can you see it?

    …oh yes, sorry I forgot I was meant to say something nice about you here, so Dave it’s been great fun working with you and thanks for coming out for my birthday drink one luchtime way back in 2001 – I’d only been at the agency for a few weeks and apart from Guy, Alice and yourself no one else was interested! So thanks for making up the numbers.

    Also I will never forget one spectacular display of appetite at a Doorstep Greens’ Chistmas meal, where you polished off not only your own meal, but virtually everyone else’s too! Bye ‘eck man do you have hollow legs?

    Bye then.

    Kim x

  • Bils

    You’re right Kim, he’s definitely been drooling, but otherwise quite a flattering picture I thought..

    Cheerio bye bye Dave.

    Please carry on immodestly laughing at your own jokes, accidentally raising the subject of your own achievements and generally being a good mate.

    We’ll all be here – at the end of a subsidised mobile, so keep in touch.


  • Pete

    I am not too sure if anyone can see if Gareth is drooling or not as the photo is too out of focus – He does look like his eyes are closed though – maybe some sort of mancurian ritual?

  • Simon

    Dave – it’s been great fun working with you. Things I will remember from our time on DGs will be : 9/11, useless non-teamwork to produce pathetic willow ball efforts, big lunches, sparkly Newcastle office, Jim & you in shorts, Belle and Sebastian in the background, an extremely merry sing-song in Nottingham, typos in the monthly report, you doing my finances in QCMs. There’s loads more, but you were often at the centre of it all, lightening everyone’ s spirits. You’ve definitely moved on at the right time, so well done on the excellent timing, and all the best.