Farewell to long-serving Hartlepool Council officers after almost 70 years service

John Mennear.
John Mennear.

TWO long-serving council officers have retired after a combined service of almost 70 years.

Graham Frankland, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director (resources) of regeneration and neighbourhoods, retires after 35 years, while John Mennear, the authority’s assistant director of community services, has put in 33 years.

Graham Frankland

Graham Frankland

Graham, 55, from the West Park area, has held a number of roles with the authority since starting out as a trainee engineer.

These include assistant engineer, achieving chartered status with the Institute of Civil Engineers, principal contract manager, housing maintenance manager, head of property services and head of procurement, property and public protection.

The dad-of-two and grandfather-of-four, married to Beryl, has been involved in some of the town’s biggest projects, including developing the design and infrastructure of housing estates including John Howe Gardens and land reclamation schemes in Old Cemetery Road and the British Steel site.

Graham, who still turns out for West Hartlepool Rugby Club’s third team, said he would miss “dealing with people, meeting with people and working with people” most.

Dad-of-three John, 61, who is married to former St Aidan’s Primary School teacher Eileen and lives in the Foggy Furze area, started out as museum curator, then was cultural services officer, then chief tourism and cultural services officer before starting his current role 10 years ago.

John said career highlights include the creation of Hartlepool Art Gallery, the restoration of PSS Wingfield Castle and the Tall Ships Races.

He said he hoped his work had brought benefits to the town.

Council chief executive Dave Stubbs hailed Graham “an extremely professional colleague of the highest standing”.

Regeneration Services Committee chairman Councillor Robbie Payne described John as an “excellent officer, a gentleman and a scholar” who is passionate about the town.