The Northern Echo has opened an online book of condolence for people to leave their tributes to Pete 'the sweep' Woodmansey who has died, aged 86.

He was best known for sweeping the streets of Darlington for 35 years before officially retiring over 20 years ago – but he continued to clean every day.

Woodmansey continued to get up at 4am every day, despite leaving his council job in 2001, donning his overalls and hi-vis vest to pick up litter and keep the town tidy.

"He was simply one of a kind," said Julie Whitehouse, a friend of 40 years. "He was a proper gentleman, and someone who always wanted to be a celebrity.

The Northern Echo: Pete has been hailed as "one of a kind"Pete has been hailed as "one of a kind"

Read more: Tributes to dedicated Darlington legend 'Pete the Sweep' after death

"He loved to make a difference to people. I would walk through the town centre and he would engage with everybody. The work he did in the community, keeping every clean and tidy was amazing.

"He touched a lot of people’s lives in a very simple way. He was very well loved, respected and thought about."

A funeral service will be held at St John the Evangelist Church, Neasham Road, on Wednesday, August 3 at 1pm.

And Julie is asking anyone who wants to pay their respects to join in a celebratory procession of Pete’s life at 12:30pm from Dinsdale Crescent to the church for the service.

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