LARGS locals have been 'moved' by the retirement of one of the town's best-kent local businessmen.

Stewart Doolan, who ran S Doolan and Sons Removals in the town for the last 36 years, has cleared his last property at 70-years-old.

The business has been a real family affair, with his two sons helping with the heavy lifting and his two daughters taking phone calls and looking after invoices and accounts.

Stewart moved to the town a 21 for a bar job - and never left.

Stewart said: “I was working in the pubs in Glasgow and a vacancy came up at a bar in Largs, so I moved down here and that's be me ever since.

“I had a number of roles over the years, including a spell working at Hunterston, but everyone knows me from the removal firm.

“I took it over when I was 34 as the previous owner was retiring and I've never looked back."

Stewart says that meeting people from across the area has been the highlight of the job.

He added: “It has been great to meet so many people and it takes a certain amount of dedication, but I’ve loved it.

“We really prided ourselves on our customer service. Sometimes you see removal men who are dour-faced and dragging their feet but we always turned up with a smile.

“At one point we were transporting stuff long distance across central Scotland, but Largs was our bread and butter - we made our name in the town.

“There were certain jobs we would always do for free, like if we were taking stuff away for pensioners for instance.

“It took ten minutes out of our day, but we knew it meant a lot to those people.”

Stewart has revealed some of the more unusual things he was asked to transport - including four live parrots.

He explained: “The weirdest was a load of prosthetic arms and legs that we were asked to remove from a house.

“My son ran out straight away which was quite memorable, he said he wasn’t taking anything to do with them.

“Some of the other strange things we’ve had to move include four parrots in individual cages, which were squawking at us all the way down the road.”

Stewart, who lives in Stakehill in Largs, received hundreds of messages of thanks online after his retirement was announced.

He said: “We have done thousands of removals and customers kept coming back.

“The comments have been really nice and it is lovely to think that we were so appreciated in the town for what we did.

“I was actually prepared to work for another two years but I had a knee replacement a few months ago and that has pushed me into retirement.

“I will certainly miss it but I’m going to Australia for a holiday next January and I’m looking forward to having some time to myself.”