A St Peters Quarter ranger who has patrolled the city streets welcoming visitors and supporting local shops and businesses is retiring after more than a decade of service. Dave Wilson, 59, is one half of the team serving the St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) and has become a familiar face on Derby’s streets.
Now the former police constable is hanging up his boots to enjoy what he says will be “a slower pace of life with his family”. Dave has been one of two rangers in the St Peters Quarter BID for more than 10 years. With his colleague Nikki, they both also work closely with two other rangers who work in the Cathedral Quarter BID area of the city centre.
He retires on Wednesday, May 10, and a celebratory party has been planned by his workmates. Dave said: “I have loved being a Ranger in Derby. It has been the most rewarding job and I have met some truly wonderful people.
“From the moment you start your day, you feel a huge sense of responsibility to support all the businesses and shoppers in your area. It has meant so much to me to be able to help them.”
Ranger Dave, Nikki Matthews and his Cathedral Quarter colleagues, Scott Harris and Jon McKenzie, each walk around ten miles a day and clock up thousands of hours patrolling the city. Before Dave’s retirement, they had served the city for a combined total of more than 40 years.
Dave said: “Some days are hugely rewarding because you’ve helped someone, but other days are much trickier. You need broad shoulders, but together we support the BID businesses and make sure people are enjoying themselves safely in Derby.”
The role of the rangers in the St Peters Quarter and Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) is three-fold: to support the businesses in their respective BID areas, to welcome visitors, and to work closely with other city partners and agencies acting as a support and referral resource.
Dave said: “We might help shoppers with parking advice and traffic flow or talk to pedestrians about safety. You never know when the radio’s going to spark into life, and someone is going to tell us about something we can help with.
“Fairly regularly we check in on shopkeepers informing each other about things of interest. If we’re close by, we go and help.
“In lockdown, the city was deserted, and our daily patrols were vital to businesses. We walked and observed and tried our hardest to keep the shops safe.
“Today, we’re still the ‘eyes and ears’ of Derby and have become an increasingly useful resource and a constant, dependable presence in the city.”
Nikki Matthews, who also patrols the St Peters Quarter Business Improvement District, said: “Dave has been the best colleague. Being a ranger is such an important job in Derby and Dave and I have been a regular point of contact for businesses and members of the public. We have played a key role in liaising with relevant other partners and agencies, quickly and effectively.”
Brad Worley, BID Manager for St Peters Quarter, said: “We salute our loyal, dynamic, and fantastic BID rangers, and we’d like to thank Dave for his hard work and sterling service. He has been an integral part of the team, and everyone is going to miss him.
“Although our rangers wear a uniform, they do not have enforcement powers – but they still play a crucial role in liaising with other partners and keeping them informed about our city. They all do a remarkable job. I know Derby is a better place because of them, and we are proud of their commitment and service.”
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