Pupils of The Hub, at Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School in Tranent, have said an emotional farewell to a retiring school bus driver who transported them to and from the school for nine years.

Dougie Berwick, who marked his 66th birthday last Wednesday by officially retiring, worked for 17 years for East Lothian Council’s transport team, ferrying pupils of Dunbar Primary School’s The Cove, Ross High’s ASN department and, latterly, Sanderson’s Wynd’s The Hub.

Dougie told the Courier: “I was responsible for getting some of the kids back and forward to school and, to be honest, I have loved every minute of it.

“You grow very attached to the kids over the years and get to watch them grow up.

“I got a fantastic farewell from the kids at The Hub when I left.”

Dougie previously worked at Edinburgh Airport, assisting passengers with disabilities on and off planes, before joining the local authority’s transport team.

He said: “Over the years, working at all the places I did was great and the council have been a great team to work for. I am going to miss all the pupils but I am looking forward to retirement.”

Born and raised in Tranent, Dougie now lives on Ross Crescent with his partner. A keen indoor bowler, he plans to spend much of his retirement at the Store Club.

He said: “My two kids have all grown up now so it is just me and my partner. I plan on bowling a couple of times a week.

“I used to play more in the past and I do a bit with the East Lothian seniors team so I am looking forward to that.”

Reflecting on his career, Dougie said he would recommend it to anyone.

He said: “It was a brilliant job. It brought a smile to my face and I am sure it will to others, too.”

Clare Palmer-Fairbairn, depute headteacher at Sanderson’s Wynd Primary School, said: “As an East Lothian Council bus driver, Dougie Berwick was very much part of our Hub team for many years.

“He was always reliable and committed to providing the best service.

“With a gentle and caring nature, Dougie built positive relationships with children and families. Working closely with bus escorts, he would meet and greet children warmly, with a smile and blether as he ensured they were happy and safe on their journeys to and from school.

“Over the years, Dougie also transported children and staff to Muirfield Riding Therapy, to local swimming pools, or on excursions.

“He was always interested in what they were learning and achieving and brought his cheer and sense of fun on their journeys!

“We would all like to thank Dougie for his years of excellent service and wish him a wonderful retirement full of rest, new adventures, wonderful time with family and further success on the bowling green!”

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Throughout his time with us Dougie has been a friendly face for the children he’s worked with, a great support to our schools, and a valued colleague and member of the transport services team.

“We all wish him well with his retirement.”

The Hub provides support for primary aged children in East Lothian who have severe and complex additional support needs.