RONNIE Horseman is hanging up his spanner after almost half a century of helping Wearside’s buses run on time.
Ronnie, who turns 65 today, has retired from his role as an engineer with city bus operator Stagecoach North East after almost 50 years’ service.
He left the firm’s Monkweamouth depot yesterday, after an emotional send-off from colleagues and managers.
Ronnie joined the company in 1962 as a coach painter.
Now, after 49 years and two months’ service, he has decided to call it a day.
Ronnie, who is married to Janine and has two daughters and five grandchildren, said: “I have really enjoyed my time with Stagecoach North East, though it’s been hard getting up at 5.30am every day for almost 50 years.
“That’s something I certainly won’t miss.
“The people are great, though, a really lovely bunch.
“They’ve been a pleasure to work with and I’ve made some good friends along the way.”
Colleagues presented Ronnie with a plaque with the number 49 as the centrepiece, marking his service to the company.
John Conroy, managing mirector, Stagecoach North East, said: “Ronnie has been a real asset to Stagecoach North East over the years, an invaluable member of the team and popular with colleagues and management alike.
“There’s no doubt he’s going to be missed, so we wanted to give him the send-off he deserves.”