FOR the past 14 years, Andrew Rogers has helped Wallingford town councillors to steer the right course.
As town clerk, he has worked hard behind the scenes to ensure that life in the historic market town has continued as smoothly as possible.
But now Mr Rogers is retiring and looking forward to spending more time behind the wheel of his TVR Cerbera 4.5.
The former bank manager took over from Pat Dawe as town clerk in 1999 and retires from the post on June 28.
The full-time role, with a salary of up to £43,721, is now being advertised and his successor will be in charge of an annual budget of £600,000.
Father-of-two Mr Rogers, 66, who has four grandchildren and lives with wife Victoria in Nuneham Courtenay, near Abingdon, said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my 14 years as town clerk but it’s about time someone else took over the reins.
“I hope we get a good choice of applicants and that they enjoy the job as much as I have.”
Mr Rogers said he was the town’s longest-serving clerk since local government reorganisation in 1974.
He added: “In the old days, the job of town clerk was held by the Hedges family and the job was more or less passed down over the generations.
“Things have changed considerably in Wallingford since I started. Fourteen years ago, there were more police officers based in the town and, although we are still blessed with a lot of independent businesses, there are more fast food shops and cafes.
“Wallingford is an historic town and I would like to think that the market place would still be recognisable to someone from Victorian times.
“Hopefully, 100 years from now, people will still be able to recognise it. It’s a historic town with a charter dating back to 1155.”
As well as driving, Mr Rogers enjoys cruises and holidaying in the US and Canada.
Town mayor Ros Lester said: “Andrew has done a very good job and it will be very difficult to replace him. He loves his sports car and will now be able to spend a bit more time behind the wheel.
“Being town clerk is a colossal responsibility in Wallingford, because we have so many ceremonies and festivals throughout the year.
"The town council is not run on a party political basis at the moment. All the councillors agree to work together and I do hope that will continue.
“All mayors go to Andrew for guidance . We respect his opinion. I am sure will give him quite a send-off when he goes; he certainly deserves it.”
- To apply for the post of town clerk, visit http://wallingford.co.uk or call 01491 835373. The closing date is Monday, February 4.