A POPULAR street cleaner has hung up his brush after 40 years of doing what he loves.

A POPULAR street cleaner has hung up his brush after 40 years of doing what he loves.

It may not be everyone's idea of a dream career but a lifetime of sweeping roads and pavements has done Chris Sneesby just nicely.

He first picked up a broom in 1970 and has never looked back - except to pick up the odd apple core or discarded piece of litter.

And despite taking retirement, he still wants to get his hands dirty by helping out his old team three days a week.

Mr Sneesby, who joined the former Huntingdon and Godmanchester Borough Council in 1970, said he couldn't turn his back on street cleaning forever.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working in an outdoor environment," he said. "I have seen so many changes over the years.

"It will be difficult to leave my colleagues behind so I hope my phased retirement will allow me to get used to my change in lifestyle more easily."

He was praised as a "popular character" and "great ambassador" after a special celebration of his work at Huntingdonshire District Council.

Councillor Colin Hyams, who has executive responsibility for street cleaning, said Mr Sneesby "has always been a willing and helpful member of the team".

"His knowledge of the role is second to none and he is much respected by those who've had the pleasure of working with him. I wish him a long and happy retirement," Cllr Hyams added.

Vice chairman Councillor Barbara Boddington presented Mr Sneesby with vouchers and a scroll to commemorate his work.