Caretaker / Groundsman
Fairstead House School

Caretaker / Groundsman
Fairstead House School

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Rob N

0.00.00 Robert Nicholls, caretaker stroke grounds man at Fairstead House School, Newmarket. I’ve been doing this job for approximately 8½ years. It’s maintenance, gardening, groundwork and basically it’s keeping the school clean, tidy and safe for the children to be about.

0.00.30 I remember school very well. I couldn’t get away quick enough. I didn’t like school at all. I’m not the sharpest tool in the box shall we say and perhaps that was that that I just didn’t get on very well. When you left school you had to find your own path so to speak. I mean we did have a careers officer come to the school but they tried to push me into the building part, because

0.01.00 my father was in the building and I had other ideas. I went into print and I was in print for 37 years. The company I worked for went into liquidation and we all were made redundant. I mean that came as a surprise because we just turned up for work on the Monday as normal and Monday afternoon we were

0.01.30 all called together and told that we were no longer needed and the job finished just like that. Big part of about it really was the wife and we were both working at the same place so we were both made redundant on the same day. We sat down and we spoke about it and we both decided that we’d had a long time in print and we’d try something different.

0.02.00 We saw this job advertised, applied for it, luckily got it and the rest is history as they say. I’ve been here ever since and those are the two jobs that I’ve had. Well after being here for eight years, I sometimes regret that I wasn’t here a long time ago. It’s more enjoyable than being in print. Obviously when you’re in print you’re in a factory, you’re indoors all the time.

0.02.30 But here you’re outdoors and you’re meeting different people and it’s a more relaxed type of job and it’s more enjoyable. Dad was in the building trade and mum, she went flower cutting, flower cutting on the land and they worked all their lives and I mean through hard times, they went through the war and things like that. And I mean I look up to them and I suppose they’re my role model if anyone.

0.03.00 I mean I’m in pretty good health, touch wood, and I mean you see a lot of things in the newspapers and on television how other people in a lot worse circumstances that I’m in and I think that’s my motivation, because I feel lucky that I can go out to work and do the job I’m enjoying doing. If anything makes me feel proud is that I’ve always worked.

0.03.30 I’ve always been in employment, other than when I was made redundant and then I was out of work for four weeks and I’ve been working other than four weeks for 47 years. Five years time I’d like to be retired. I’m looking forward to having time to do what I would like to do when I would like to do it and I’m really looking forward to retirement.


Rob N is the Caretaker/Groundsman at Fairstead House School, Newmarket. He came here after 37 years as a printer. "It's more enjoyable than being in print. Obviously when you're in print, you're in a factory, you're indoors all the time. But here you're outdoors and you're meeting different people and it's a more relaxed type of job and it's more enjoyable."

More information about Caretakers

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

70%  male 
30%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Caretakers supervise and undertake the care and maintenance of church, school, office and other buildings, their facilities, fixtures and contents.
No academic qualifications are required. Previous relevant experience may be needed, and training is provided in some areas. Background checks will be required for those whose job brings them into contact with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Locks and unlocks doors and entrances at appropriate times;
  • Supervises and/or undertakes the cleaning and maintenance of premises;
  • Controls heating, lighting and security systems;
  • Undertakes minor repairs and notifies owner of need for major repairs;
  • Checks fire and safety equipment for adequate functioning.
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Sport & recreation 2863
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