Golden goodbye for Edinburgh school janitor after 40 years in the job

A Janitor is set to hang up the dustpan and brush after 40 years of loyal service to the Craigroyston and Muirhouse community.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 1:31 pm
There was a whole school assembly where Brian was given gifts that included a Hibs gnome, a gold-painted toilet plunger trophy and a signed football from Hibs team. Picture: TSPL

Brian Gilchrist, 65, worked at the old Craigroyston high school before going on to Muirhouse primary school and then becoming a janitor at Craigroyston primary which is on the same site.

He was honoured at a ceremony hosted by staff and pupils at Craigroyston primary last Thursday. The school gifted him a Hibs gnome, a signed football from the Hibs team and a golden toilet plunger to rival Sir Chris Hoy’s golden post box.

He said: “I started in 1978 as a janitor after being made redundant as a weaver and threader at United Wire in Granton. I could not believe I got the job because at the time I knew very little about fixing boilers and stuff like that. After working at schools in this area for over 40 years, if you got me out this area I’d get lost.”

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Brian says that his favourite part of working in the community was taking various football sides over the years. He said that he coached football teams between 1981 and 2006 – almost outlasting his idol Sir Alex Ferguson.

All seven of Brian’s kids went to the school that he worked at and now his grandchildren have followed suit. He admits it will be strange not having to get up at 5am each morning but brushes away the suggestion that he will enjoy a lie in: “I have two dogs that will keep me as an early riser.”

He looks forward to spending his retirement with his partner Linda – who he plans to travel to British towns and cities for weekend breaks with. He admits that he will not miss the cleaning of the boys toilets but that he will miss working with the children dearly.

Lorna Stewart, head teacher at Craigroyston, said: “Brian is an amazing janitor. He has been such a big part of our school and he will be greatly missed. He is always ready to help, no job was ever too much trouble for him. He certainly made our school a great place to be.

“Many former pupils talk of how he helped them when they were at primary school. He used his passion for football to teach many a school team.

“After over 40 years working in our schools, he will now start his very well earned retirement. We thank him for all his hard work, friendship and commitment to our community. He is simply the best.”