Lakes stalwart bids farewell after 50 years
AFTER ferrying more than seven million passengers over a 50-year career a stalwart of the Lakes' most loved tourist attractions is retiring.
Phil Ridley, 65, is one of the most well-known faces in Windermere having worked for Windermere Lake Cruises since 1967.
Starting off making tea for passengers, Mr Ridley quickly became a full-time member crewing the boats which, day after day, make their way across the water.
Most recently, his everyday duties on board MV Swan have included meeting and greeting customers, collecting tickets and telling visitors about the rich history of the Lake District.
During his time on the water Mr Ridley has travelled an estimated 365,000 miles, more than earning a long overdue rest.
He said: "I started off as a teaboy and have done most of the jobs on board Swan and Teal since then. Travelling up and down the lake is a fantastic job, but meeting the people has definitely been the best bit. Every day is a highlight, but chatting to visitors is the part that has really meant the most to me."