THE familiar face of West Somerset roadsweeper Ken Stephens was missed by many following his retirement this week in 1999.

Mr Stephens was 65 on Christmas Eve that year and retired from his job on New Year’s Eve, 1998.

He had worked for Service Team for seven years, helping keep the streets of Watchet, Williton and Minehead free from litter and was presented with a Service Excellence Award to mark his good work with the company over the years.

He was also showered with vouchers and gifts at his leaving ceremony in Watchet.

Father of two Mr Stephens said he would be spending his new spare time keeping up with his hobbies, including gardening and keeping ferrets.

Mr Stephens and his wife, Pam, were well known for their ferret displays. They also raise money for St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice, with their 'hold a ferret' stalls.

Mr Stephens said he would miss his job.

"I made a lot of friends and was always cheerful and friendly," he said.

"I can do whatever I want now but I will probably still get up early - I’m used to early starts.”