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‘End of an era’ as Bruce completes final round after 51 years working as binman

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A popular binman completed his final round last week after more than half a century serving the people of West Norfolk.Bruce Rose, 67, of Gaywood, has retired after 51 years working either for the borough council or, since privatisation in 1990, one of its contractors.Colleagues at Serco gave Bruce a fond farewell, decorating his truck with balloons as well as banners reading “Happy retirement” and “The legend has retired”.

Bruce Rose is retiring after working as a bin man in West Norfolk for more than 50 years. Pictures: Ian Burt
Bruce Rose with Serco contract manager Jerry Barnes

Bruce also received gifts from some of the householders on his rounds in Terrington St Clement, Clenchwarton and West Lynn.“It was a bit emotional, it being my last day speaking to people I’ve known for years,” said Bruce. “I will miss it. I’ve made many friends over the years doing the job. You get to know people like they are part of your family.

Bruce Rose is retiring after working as a bin man in West Norfolk for more than 50 years. Pictures: Ian Burt
Bruce’s colleagues wished him a happy retirement

“I got several gifts from people on the round who I got friendly with, saying thank you and sorry to see you go.”Bruce described working on the bin round as “a family tradition carried on”.“My grandfather and dad did the job and it was something I saw them doing, and how happy they were doing it and meeting people, and I’m a people person too,” he said.“That’s what makes the job, meeting people and being friendly. We are out there in all weathers and when people are nice to you, that makes it worthwhile. My son and daughter have both done it too.”

Bruce Rose is retiring after working as a bin man in West Norfolk for more than 50 years. Pictures: Ian Burt
Bruce Rose with the A Team

Bruce’s truck has displayed a customised ‘A Team’ number plate in the window of the cab since the popular TV show’s heyday in the 1980s – a nickname his crew has been known as ever since. And with the routes of bin rounds changing roughly every eight years, Bruce and his ‘A Team’ will be well known by many households across the borough.Bruce added: “I’ve covered 95 per cent of West Norfolk emptying bins over the years. It’s been enjoyable mixing with the public, I’ve come across no end of nice people.”

Bruce’s colleagues wished him a happy retirement
Bruce Rose is retiring after working as a bin man in West Norfolk for more than 50 years. Pictures: Ian Burt

Jerry Barnes, contract manager for citizen services at Serco in King’s Lynn, paid tribute to Bruce. He said: “An incredible 51 years’ service. The end of an era. In Bruce’s time in this role he has seen a lot of change in the industry and has adapted himself to meet that demand and situational change.“He is the original cheeky chappie, he has all the talk and banter with all age groups from eight to 80 and he has time for all of them. He is well known by many across the borough during his time on different rounds, and friendships have been formed during those years, and for sure he will be missed by many.“From our depot, his humour and daily banter will leave a gap for someone new to fill. We would like to wish him a very happy retirement, it’s well deserved.”



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