An “amazing” man has raised more than £700 for a children’s charity from the sales of a book written about his life.
Bob Simpson, from Broomhill, was born in April 1926, the youngest of seven children.
Until the start of lockdown, Bob, who is 94, was keeping himself busy by driving school buses for children at Cults Academy, after working for 15 years ferrying children to their classes.
The idea for the book came from friend Blenda Briggs, who he met at a dance in Midmar in 2005.
Blenda collated and wrote down the stories of his life.
Now, £742 has been raised for Aberdeen-based children’s charity Charlie House, which supports children and young people with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions.
The book starts with the story of his birth and his young years living on a farm near Stonehaven where his education started at the age of 11 at Dunnottar School.
He then moved to Mackie Academy and left at the get of 14.
He went on to drive tractors at Hallgreen in Inverbervie, before starting working as a long-distance lorry driver. Some of his stories centre around his wife and their daughter.
The book also outlines some of his health scares, including the time he fell ill with Anthrax, a serious, infectious disease, in 1957/58 while working delivering cattle feed to farms.
The rare illness is caused by bacteria from infected animals.
Bob remembers falling ill with flu-like symptoms and was only diagnosed with the condition when a former army doctor released what it was.
Bob said: “It was Blenda’s idea for the book.
“I’d like to thank everybody for buying the book, and also for their donations towards the charity.
“I have seen so many changes over my 94 years. I would like to tell all the children who have travelled on my bus just how lucky they are to have been born at this time. There is so much potential for them to do well and succeed.”
Throughout lockdown, he said he has been keeping himself busy by going for walks, and said he’s discovered “more lanes than he realised were there.”
This isn’t the first time he has raised money for charity, after doing so for his 90th birthday for Maggie’s, and also working on a project with his late wife Annie.
Bob said: “During the period following my retirement I bought a knitting machine. I was able to buy cones of wool from charity shops and knitted jumpers for Oxfam. I knitted them and my wife sewed them up, we were a good team.
“After a while the charity shop ladies began to keep suitable wool for me and gave it to me for nothing. A thousand or more jumpers were donated to Oxfam, which was greatly appreciated.
He added: “After a couple of years I was invited out to Midmar to join a dancing class. I was rather nervous for a start but everybody was very friendly and welcoming. I soon fitted in and made new friends and acquaintances. Even now I am still dancing. I still go to the bingo occasionally too. Life is good but just at a slower pace.”
Blenda said she came up with the idea for the book after realising how many interesting stories Bob had about his life.
She said: “It was my idea because every time he sat into my car it was all ‘fin I wis runnin doon the road’ and that’s the first line of the book.
“It’s just fun stories in a time of life gone by.
“The things he’s seen in his lifetime, children wouldn’t even believe these days.
“He is my Guardian Angel on this earth. A constant in an ever-changing world. He never seems to lose his temper and is such easy company. He has supported me through loss, heartaches, and health issues too.
“He has such an open mind and is always willing to learn new things, including trying alternative medicines to support his own health.
“All this is done with good manners, good humour, calmness, and kindness. What an amazing man, we are all so lucky to know him.”
For more information and to purchase a copy of the book, call 01975 562242.