ONE of Dursley’s unsung heroes was honoured this week for his inspiring contribution to the town.

Street cleaner Keith Thomson, who has been keeping the town’s streets looking spick and span since 2004, has reached the age of 65.

And the townsfolk decided to let the street-cleaning superstar know just what he means to them.

As Keith took his daily walk down Parsonage Street last Thursday (March 7) he was, much to his surprise, greeted with banners and balloons outside the shops along with a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’.

It was followed by drinks and a special cake at the Old Spot, plus a collection of cash.

Keith was moved to tears by the kind gesture.

“I was totally shocked and amazed,” he said.

“I wasn’t expecting anything like that.”

Hundreds of people posted good wishes to Keith on Facebook too, including Steve Smith, from the Intersound guitar shop, who summed up the feelings of many, saying: “Keith is part of the fabric our beautiful town”.

Keith said: “I didn’t realise people thought that about me. It’s very nice of them to say that."

Deputy mayor Mandy Woodward said: “Everybody speaks to Keith, and he is always joking and laughing.”

“He goes above and beyond the call of duty for us.”

As well as being popular with the town’s residents, Keith is a big hit with the local dogs too.

“Keith is famous for having dog biscuits in his trolley,” said Cllr Woodward.

“As soon as Jasper at Tolsey Two gift shop hears Keith’s trolley coming, he gets really excited.”

Keith likes to decorate his trolley for special occasions in the town, and is pictured here all fairy lit, for last Christmas’ Festive Dursley.

Keith has had some hard times in his life and says that it is the Dursley community that keeps him going.

“I had a lot of operations when I was a baby and I spent four and a half years in hospital,” he said.

He still has various health issues today.

“Now, if people in the town don’t see me, they’ll come and check on me, and make sure I’m alright. And I do the same for them.

“People give me bottles of water in the summer, and cups of coffee in the winter to keep me warm.

“If I’m down they try to cheer me up.

“Without their help I wouldn’t be here.”