Craven Council’s gain was London’s loss when, back in the early 1980s, Colin Iveson was appointed senior committee clerk.

Colin, who is retiring at the end of the month as democratic services manager, joined the council at Granville Street, the authority’s former headquarters before it moved into the town’s Belle Vue Mills.

He almost took a job in London, but on arriving in the metropolis never bothered going for the interview.

He said: “I was working at Eden Council in Penrith as committee clerk at the time - I’d been there since 1979 - and was looking for a new job as senior committee clerk.

“I got to London, got off the train, looked around and didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t bother going for the interview.

“Instead, I had a look round the Tate Gallery and came home. It was lucky I did that because I then applied for the similar job at Craven and got it.”

Colin, 60, who lives in Barnoldswick, was born and brought up in Bradley. On leaving school at 16, he got a job in August 1969 as a junior clerk with Skipton Urban District Council.

When the authority was scrapped and Craven council came into being in 1974, he joined the ranks as committee clerk and has been in local government ever since.

In the past 18 years, Colin, who is married to Yvonne, has also acted as returning officer, which meant he has been in charge of four General Elections in Skipton and umpteen local elections.

“I have always enjoyed working with councillors and have seen my job to give them as much support as possible.

“The low point of my career came with the financial problems of 2008. Thankfully, we have come out of that and in spite of the cost-cutting we have had to do, we have accomplished a considerable amount in the last two years,” he added.

Colin is planning to visit New Zealand and Australia and enjoy more walking and reading.