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South Shields ferry captain quits Tyne to start new life as Highlands gamekeeper

Bob Paterson is leaving his job as a skipper on shields ferry.
Bob Paterson is leaving his job as a skipper on shields ferry.

A long-serving Shields Ferry skipper has swapped the Tyne for a new life as gamekeeper in the Scottish Highlands.

Bob Paterson was a familiar face on the cross-Tyne Ferry service for more than two decades.

I’ll miss all the passengers and the lads who I have worked with down the years.

Bob Paterson

However, the 54–year–old from Boldon Colliery, has moved to the Bridge of Gaur in Rannoch, south of Fort William on the West Highland line.

There he will be working across thousands of Scottish moorland as a gillie, which involves the duties of a gamekeeper.

He said: “I’ve had a great time working on the Shields Ferry. I’m sad to be leaving.

“I’ll miss all the passengers and the lads who I have worked with down the years. It’s a wonderful place to work so it was a big decision for me to leave.

“I had been off for a while after knee surgery and when my wife left her job we decided to re-evaluate everything.

“We decided to go for a new chapter in our lives, living in the Scottish Highlands where I own a cottage.

“I cannot thank Nexus enough for giving me the opportunity to work on the Ferry. Without that job I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Bob was noted for his rapport with passengers, and for his tireless fundraising for Help for Heroes, which has netted a total of £47,000.

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: “I would like to wish Bob all the best for the future.

“Bob has been a long-serving member of our crew and he has been a vital part of the team more than two decades. He has been a mentor for a lot of our newer crew members.

“Over the years he has won awards for customer service, he has rescued people from the river and he has done a huge amount of charity work alongside all of his duties.

“Bob was always popular with our passengers. All of the crew are going to miss him and they wish him well.”

Bob plans to return to the Shields Ferry to see his former colleagues ahead of his official leaving date which is July 2