Simon Tidswell FRICS Dip DEA, Residential Surveyor and Valuer with Greenslade Taylor Hunt retires today (Friday 25 February) after more than 45 years in the property industry.

During his varied career he has held a number of posts in estate agency, letting and management, commercial agency and valuation.

He is now based at Hammet Street, Taunton, where he specialises in the valuation and surveying of residential property.

During the pandemic and the lockdowns demand for this work rocketed as buyers relocated from London and the South East to the Westcountry.

Although the pandemic has been challenging Simon recalls the 1980s were also a fraught time. Tax relief was being phased out and house prices were soaring by the week, then the crash happened.

People are at the heart of Simon’s work. Even as he prepares to retire, he is putting the final touches to surveys to ensure smooth moves for clients.

“I enjoy meeting people and providing good quality services to clients,” he said when he joined GTH in 2015 and that motivation has not changed.

Throughout his career meeting different people has been part of the appeal of Simon’s work. This varied array ranged from a member of the band Dire Straits to a number of key military figures. This included a former commander of a Polaris submarine, the former head of the RAF in Germany during the Cold War as well as pilots based there who sat in their planes with a live nuke ready to take off at a moment’s notice - quite chilling. Whatever the people’s jobs are, there is usually always an interesting side to them.

“One of the best things about working here is being with Duncan Brown and the team. I shall miss the staff in the office.

He is immensely grateful to Lisa Brimble and Shirley Mitchell, who have looked after him and who he describes as his “angels”, saving him from IT nightmares and who have had to listen to and type all his reports.

“It has been very much like a family firm. We provide a very good professional service to all our clients,” said Simon.

Originally from Dorset Simon began his property career in estate agency in Yeovil in the heatwave summer of 1976.

After a busy morning toiling in the office the boss would invite staff for a swim in his pool and the chance to cool off.

Things were more relaxed then and computers and mobile phones would have been the stuff of unlikely science fiction.

Everything was hand typed – a carbon sheet placed beneath the paper in order to obtain a copy.

Photographs took days to come back from the developers – it was somewhat revolutionary when Simon worked in Oxford and a business started offering a one hour photo service enabling property details to be turned around much more swiftly.

Technology has transformed everything – so much information is available online at the touch of a button, which in the past might have taken weeks to uncover.

There is more regulation – the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ensures compliance on a range of best practice issues – providing confidence for clients whether buying or selling.

In retirement Simon and his wife Libby hope to travel. They are also keen walkers so some rambling holidays are also in prospect. Simon will also have more time to devote to his birdwatching hobby too.

Duncan Brown, GTH Chairman, said: “Simon will be sorely missed. He is particularly popular with staff and clients and his considerable experience in the property industry has been invaluable to us all. We wish Simon and Libby a long and well earned retirement.”