Retiree bids farewell to Bedford Heights after 30-year career at iconic building

Yolande Lewis has retired after a 30-year career that has spanned Texas Instruments to Bedford Heights (image: Bedford Heights)
Yolande Lewis has retired after a 30-year career that has spanned Texas Instruments to Bedford Heights (image: Bedford Heights)

The career of Yolande Lewis was celebrated at Bedford Heights this month, as he retired following a 30-year career looking after one of Bedford’s most iconic buildings.

Maintenance Engineer Yolande first set foot in the Brickhill Drive building in the 1980s when it was originally owned by Texas Instruments.

It has seen many changes throughout the years he has worked there, from its time as the UK HQ of the electronics giant to today’s incarnation as office space, co-working facilities, conference venue and a wellness studio.

Following such a long and loyal career, Yolande is celebrating the start of his retirement by taking a well-earned holiday visiting family in Grenada.

But he won’t be resting on his laurels for long as he is under instructions to take up his important new job – full-time grandparent – on his return to Bedford.

Tim Pain, director of Verve Developments Ltd, owners of Bedford Heights, said: “On behalf of everyone at Bedford Heights I would like to say an enormous thank you to Yolande for everything he has done for the building and the company over his long and impressive career.

“Spending over 30 years working in the same building is no easy feat, and isn’t something you see all the time nowadays, so we are very grateful to Yolande for his loyalty and commitment.

“Yolande always has a smile on his face and a friendly word to say and we will miss his sunny disposition.”

Yolande was born in Grenada and emigrated to England in the late 1960s with his two brothers and sister, following his mother and father who he believed travelled here on SS Windrush in the early 1960s. 

He attended Pilgrims school and then completed an apprenticeship with WH Allen in engineering.  Yolande first joined Texas Instruments, the original owners of the building, in the 1980s. After a short stint elsewhere he returned when the building was known as Saturn Facilities, operating as serviced offices, and continued to work in the building on Brickhill Drive ever since.

Maintenance Engineer Yolande was part of a wider maintenance team responsible for the smooth running of the building’s infrastructure, and his knowledge and experience proved invaluable over the years.