If Steve Simpson passes you in the street, chances are you’ll know about it.
He’ll be the one dressed in bright orange overalls, pushing a cart and singing a tune as he goes about his daily task of keeping the streets of Guisborough clean.
It could be any song, usually one he’s heard on a passing car radio, and the cheerful tune will be accompanied by an equally cheerful greeting to just about everyone he meets along the way.
Steve has earned himself the moniker of Guisborough’s very own ‘singing street sweeper’ and if you’ve ever paid a visit to the market town, you’ll undoubtedly have encountered him along the way – whatever the weather.
The name stuck shortly after he started making his rounds three years ago.
“I used to sing to myself, not loudly, and one day I turned around and the ladies in one of the bakeries shouted ‘it’s the singing street sweeper!’ – it sort of stuck from there,” says Steve, 57.
“I don’t have a favourite tune – it can be something I’ve heard someone going past playing or music playing in a car that gets stuck in your head.”
Talking to people is all part and parcel of his round too and he’s proved to be a regular friendly face to the townspeople.
“Most mornings I am the first person people see when they get off the bus. I always speak, they always speak – they’ll ask how I am.
“It’s a nice, friendly place,” says Steve, who comes from Skinningrove.
His round takes him up and down the Westgate area of the town and surrounding streets, keeping the area clean and tidy.
He regularly wins positive comments from the people of Guisborough for going above and beyond his job, helping people struggling with shopping or holding a dog lead whilst its owner pops in to a shop.
The plaudits don’t stop there though.
Steve has just been honoured with a Citizen of the Year Award from Guisborough Town Council recognising the work he does in and around the town.
He was presented with the gong by Guisborough mayor Janice Skelton who described him as an ‘asset to the town.’
“I always try to do a good job but it’s really nice to be recognised. It was a really good feeling. I try to sweep the shop fronts and talk to people – but I never expected anything like this,” said Steve. “I was surprised.”
Mr Simpson has now also been nominated for a Gazette Community Champion award.