What a blooming marvel!
Kirklees Council gardener, Michael McGrath, has been recognised for 50 years of public service.
And he is the man who has brought a splash of colour to the streets of Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Dewsbury thousands of times.
His latest triumph was to grow hundreds of vivid yellow sunflowers which were “planted” in St George’s Square as it was transformed into a French farmyard on the eve of the Tour de France.
Michael – Mick to his colleagues – works at Kirklees Council’s Bradley Nurseries on Leeds Road and has been presented with a long service certificate by Kirklees Council Director of Place Jacqui Gedman and received gifts from his colleagues.
Clr Cathy Scott, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Place said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations on behalf of all Kirklees councillors. Mick’s 50th year of service is a very significant milestone in serving the residents of Kirklees”.
Mick has worked in parks all his life. He started as an apprentice in Beaumont Park whilst studying at what was then Huddersfield Technical College. He moved to the greenhouses in Lockwood cemetery in 1972, and then to the newly built nursery at Bradley in 1987, where he has been ever since.
Paul Marshall has been Mick’s manager for over 10 years. He said: “Mick has a real passion for plants – particularly growing things from seed.
“Over the years he has been instrumental in providing floral decorations in the town halls and other public buildings. He did the flowers for the Mayor’s annual dinner in June and they looked great. Fifty years is an exceptional achievement – many congratulations Mick”.
Mick also grew the ‘surprise’ sunflowers for Le Phun which appeared in St George’s Square as part of the Tour de France celebrations and is now looking forward to his efforts being on display at the flower show in Greenhead Park this weekend.
Mick, 65, lives in Netherton and works 16 hours a week. He says he is not looking to retire just yet.