IT’S THE end of the road after a decade of street cleaning for Jimmy Quinn.
Jimmy is packing away his barrow and brush to enjoy his retirement and a life without grime after 10 years of keeping the streets of Concord clean.
Jimmy, 64, from Donwell, Washington, is a well-known face around the town’s streets.
He said that he would miss his chats with shopkeepers and members of the public who have become his pals over the years.
Jimmy said: “It’s true to say that I’m highly regarded. People often tell me what a good job I’ve done.
“I’ve kept parts of Washington clean and tidy by taking a real pride in my job.
“Shopkeepers will stop and tell me how hard I’ve worked.”
Jimmy has taken retirement eight months early and his last day in the job will be today.
He said: “I was due to retire next May, but I’ve done years and the time is right to go.”
Washington-born Jimmy, a twice-married, dad of four, left school at 15 and worked on a farm for three years. He then became a building labourer.
The widower, whose second wife Diane, 54, died four years ago, also had two spells working in a chemical plant.
When we has made redundant 10 years ago he was worried that he wouldn’t find work again, but he quickly landed on his feet, when a council manager, who was also a member of his beloved Top Club in Concord, offered him a job.
Jimmy said: “He liked my patter and my ad-lib and asked me if I’d like to work for the council.
“I was 55, and being offered a job at that age was like winning the lottery.”
Jimmy is also the proud secretary of the Durham Light Infantry Association.
His links to the association started when he enlisted through the Territorial Army, aged 18.
He rose to the rank of corporal, but made the choice to leave the ranks when he met Diane.
Jimmy’s friend and Washington north councillor John Kelly, said: “Jimmy has always engaged very well with the public, he is an asset to the community.
“The shop owners in the area know him well and like him very much, he’s done a very good job and will be missed.”