NOT many people grow up to work within sight of their birthplace.
But this is just what happened for Chichester District Council’s cleansing manager Andy Ifould, who was born in the cottages in the depot at Westhampnett Road, in Chichester.
Andy’s links to the depot go back two generations.
His maternal grandfather worked for the city’s isolation hospital in the gardens and in 1945 Andy’s father started working at the depot and had the job of clearing the cesspits in Chichester’s rural areas.
At the age of 26, Andy followed his father into the refuse trade, starting off as a refuse collector in 1978.
Andy was recently presented with a long-service award by the council for 35 years and said he had seen many changes in that time.
“It was a lot grubbier in those days, we had four-wheel dustcarts and everything was hand-loaded into the trucks,” he said.
He added in the 1960s and 1970s, the bins were metal because of the ashes from people’s fires and when a bin was full, you had to lift it on your back.
“The bottoms of the bins used to get wet and fall out, so you’d get maggots fall out and if it was wet it would run down your shoulder. I remember one day in the early 1980s, I had a guy with me, he picked up a bin and walked out of a property in West Wittering and a rat poked his head out of the bin then ran off down the road – from off his back.”
Today, the job is a lot cleaner and there is little manual lifting, while safety equipment has improved.
“At one point I was working 50 metres from where I was born and you think ‘you’ve gone a long way in your life’ and it is a slightly weird sort of thing I suppose,” he said. “I liked working outdoors, I started as a dustman and my life has snowballed from there really – I’ve been very happy.”