A Glenalmond College minibus driver has this week stepped down from behind the wheel, after two decades of transporting pupils to and from the leading Perthshire independent school.
Willie Simpson, who is also a well-known local farmer and breeder of prize-winning Highland ponies, is retiring from his driving duties. However, he still intends to keep playing at events, including Glenalmond ceilidhs, with his renowned Scottish country dance band.
Glenalmond College has a fleet of liveried vehicles which provide a free transport service for families with children attending the school. The routes covered by Willie and his fellow drivers range from as far afield as Aberfeldy, Auchterarder, Rait, Bridge of Earn, Dunning and Crieff. New bus routes to meet local demand, including Burrelton and Glenfarg, are planned for next year.
Mr Simpson’s family have a long heritage with Glenalmond. His wife, Jean, was the Bursar’s secretary for 25 years and his three daughters - Jill, Jennifer and Alison - were among the first girls to attend the school.
Mr Simpson’s commitment and long service was commended by David Lish, Bursar at Glenalmond.
“Our sincere thanks go to Willie for a remarkable 20 years of excellent service,” said Mr Lish.
“We are extremely grateful for all the commitment to Glenalmond that he has shown over the past two decades - he will be greatly missed by pupils, and colleagues in our transport team, as well as our wider team of staff.
“We are pleased that you are retaining your long-held links with the school, Willie, and will be coming back to play for us at events. Our best wishes to you, and your wife Jean, for a long, happy retirement.”