A friendship sparked 40 years ago

The four County Durham Housing Group Property Services employees today, from left, Robert Blackburn, Neil Graham, Andrew Edwards and David Howard.
The four County Durham Housing Group Property Services employees today, from left, Robert Blackburn, Neil Graham, Andrew Edwards and David Howard.
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Four employees of County Durham Housing Group sparked up a friendship while working as apprentice electricians that has lasted four decades.

Robert Blackburn, Andrew Edwards, Neil Graham and David Howard are celebrating 40 years of working together.

The four County Durham Housing Group Property Services employees, from left, Robert Blackburn, Neil Graham, Andrew Edwards and David Howard back in 1990.

The four County Durham Housing Group Property Services employees, from left, Robert Blackburn, Neil Graham, Andrew Edwards and David Howard back in 1990.

All four now fulfil their day-to-day duties within Group Property Services (GPS) – County Durham Housing Group’s repairs, maintenance and improvements division.

Andrew, GPS’ Technical Manager, said: “None of us could have known when we started out as apprentices that we’d still be working together 40 years later.

“We began our working life together at what was then City of Durham Council back in 1976, so we’ve now got a combined total of 160 years’ service between us.

“So much has changed during that time; there are a lot of new regulations, more paperwork involved and loads of new technology.”

Neil said: “I don’t think we’ve changed too much in 40 years though, have we?”

While Robert continues to work as an electrician and David is a Chargehand Electrician, Neil is now Electrical Supervisor and Andrew is Technical Manager

The quartet recently got together to re-enact a photograph that was taken of them in 1990 at Andrew’s wedding.

County Durham Housing Group’s Director of Assets and Regeneration, Ged Walsh, has congratulated the faithful four.

He said: “As someone who is relatively new to the group, it’s fantastic to recognise this level of progression and commitment.”

For more on County Durham Housing Group, go to www.countydurhamhousinggroup.co.uk