FOR nearly 45 years he has been helping to keep buses in Southampton on the move.

But now Keith Shrimpton is hanging up his toolkit and retiring from First Hampshire’s Southampton depot in Empress Road.

The 60-year-old started work at First as an apprentice in 1969 and worked his way up to engineering shift supervisor.

Working on the buses runs in the family as his father-in-law Percy Axtell was a driver in Southampton for more than 40 years and his brother-in-law Brian Walker worked with him in engineering.

Now his son Matt Shrimpton is carrying on the family tradition as a chargehand at First’s Southampton depot.

Keith lives in Bitterne Park with his wife Lesley and three children and he intends to spend his retirement enjoying foreign holidays, taking up swimming again and going to the gym.

He said: “I shall miss my colleagues here first and foremost but it was time for me to call it a day.”