BEING in the right place at the right time landed a painter and decorator his dream job.

Paul Gibbon says he feel honoured to have worked at Tabley House Nursing Home for 30 years.

The maintenance manager, hailed ‘Mr Tabley’, has been presented with a long service award.

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The nursing home near Knutsford is set within a stunning 18th century Palladian style country house.

Knutsford Guardian: Paul Gibbon receives a long service award and gifts from Gareth Williams, Cygnet's chief executive officer of Social Care servicesPaul Gibbon receives a long service award and gifts from Gareth Williams, Cygnet's chief executive officer of Social Care services (Image: Cygnet Social Care)

Paul joined the team in 1993, four years after it became part of Cygnet Social Care Division.

At the time he was working as a private decorator and gardener.

Paul said: “I was just in the right place at the right time.

“I got called in to decorate some of the rooms at a time when the maintenance role had become vacant.

“I interviewed for the role and was fortunate enough to get it and I haven’t looked back since.”

To begin with, Paul was the only maintenance staff on site.

Today he manages a team of three.

No two days are the same, he says, as the role is so varied.

Room refurbishments, painting and decorating, maintaining the house’s exterior or liaising with the museum and tea rooms that share the building, all come under his leadership.

The team is currently building a new fence around the chapel adjoining the house and laying a new flagged path.

One of the reasons he has stayed so long in the job is the pride and satisfaction he gets in looking after and maintaining a Grade 1 listed property.

Paul said: “It can be challenging.

"Because of the building’s exceptional historical interest, it has to be looked after in a particular way and within strict guidelines.

“I love the building and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.

“I often get asked whether I’ve ever discovered any secret rooms or passages. I haven’t yet, but you never know!

“Cygnet have also looked after me really well and provided me with lots of training opportunities over the years.”

Karen Lynskey, registered manager of the nursing home, said: “Paul is Mr Tabley.

“His knowledge and experience of managing this Grade 1 listed building is outstanding.

“It was a pleasure to celebrate Paul’s 30 years of employment at Tabley. “It was such a fantastic achievement with hopefully many more years to come.”

To mark Paul’s achievement he was presented with a special 30th anniversary plaque, flowers and a bottle of wine.

Gareth Williams, Cygnet’s chief executive officer of social care services, said: “Paul has been an incredibly important asset to the home.

“It was a real honour for me to be able to thank Paul for everything that he has done.

“I look forward to coming back to present his 40th year and 50th year awards in the future.”