Audley End Custodian retires

PUBLISHED: 18:34 20 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:49 31 May 2010

Stewart Lumsley Picture: SUBMITTED

Stewart Lumsley Picture: SUBMITTED

AUDLEY End Custodian Stewart Lumsley has retired after a career spanning 20 years. Stewart, 60, started working for English Heritage at Audley End as a seasonal member of staff in1987 doing just Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. He enjoyed the role so

AUDLEY End Custodian Stewart Lumsley has retired after a career spanning 20 years.

Stewart, 60, started working for English Heritage at Audley End as a seasonal member of staff in1987 doing just Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

He enjoyed the role so much he returned to Audley End as seasonal staff in 1990, and saw a vacancy for a full time custodian. So he decided to give up his desk job and start a new career.

"Every day is different - the job is so varied and it makes for an interesting life," said Stewart who has lived at the house or in the grounds since he started the job.

"It's been wonderful to live and work in 90 acres of beautiful grounds with the River Cam running thought them, and all the wildlife and birds. It's a very special place."

During his 20 years Stewart has met royalty, celebrities and around two million visitors. He's seen many changes including five chief executives and three regional directors.

Head of visitor operations for the East region, Neil Cole, said: "Stewart is a true gentleman and has shown great loyalty to English Heritage. He often relays tales of days gone by and how times have changed.

"We will all miss working alongside Stewart and in particular his infamous Christmas quizzes at the annual staff party!"

As an ex-employee he gets a lifetime pass to English Heritage. But top of his agenda is travelling, with a holiday to Italy - a birthday present from his wife - already booked and plans for an extended trip to New Zealand, next year.

He's also looking forward to having time to do some photography, cooking and gardening and to pursue his main hobby of playing the keyboard

Audley End House is open from:

April 1 to September 30: 11am-5pm Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays (last admission 2.30pm on Saturday).

October 1 to November 1: 11am-4pm Wednesday through to Sunday (last admission 2.30pm on Saturday)


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