When Neil Burton (39) is cleaning windows in Long Sutton, Sutton Bridge and Holbeach, there is no clue of the time he spent in the Army and police force.
The father-of-two from Long Sutton spent seven years in the Grenardier Guards before serving as a police officer with Norfolk Constabulary for 15 years.
But when long-time friend Marcus Norton (44), also of Long Sutton, offered Neil a chance to work for himself as a franchisee with Marcus’s business M N Window Cleaning, the offer was one that appealed.
Neil said: “I’d known Marcus for 13 years and also known that he’d built up an enviable reputation for reliability and trustworthiness with his firm.
“When the opportunity came along earlier this year to become a franchisee with his business, I was interested because I’d be in charge of my own destiny.
“It was an interesting prospect to run my own business and over the years I spent in the police and Army, I gained a lot of attributes that have transferred well to what I’m doing now.”
Neil left behind a life that included a role in four Trooping the Colour ceremonies, annually celebrating the Queen’s Official Birthday in June, and a two-year tour of duty in Northern Ireland prior to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 which set up devolved government in the country.
Marcus said: “I’m really grateful that Neil came on board with me because I know he’s the right person for the job.
“He’s a good worker, a professional person, trustworthy, has common sense, a good eye for detail and is good with people.”
Neil said: “It was monumental for me to change from doing something that people regard as one of the most secure occupation you can have to something that’s insecure.
“But I’ve never looked back, I feel good for being outdoors all the time and I’m giving people a service.”