BUS drivers have said a fond farewell to their late colleague and ‘brother’ by taking his ashes on one final journey with the lads.

Stagecoach driver of more than 15 years Micky Iles, from Park North died suddenly from a heart aneurysm in September 2014.

His friends and fellow drivers Paul Simmons, Jake and Mervyn Cowan and Michael Mullans decided to embark on a week-long trip to Falkirk and took along the ashes of their best mate.

With the blessing of Micky’s family and a donation by his wife Maureen to buy his round of drinks, the friends ensured the father-of-five could join them on one last holiday .

Affectionately known as Spunky, Micky was known for his "larger than life" character and charitable personality, regularly taking part in sponsored walks for the Prospect Hospice. He had completed a walk of Hadrian’s Wall for the charity one week before his death.

Paul, from Nythe, said the trip was a fitting farewell to the grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of two.

“It’s like saying we’ll never forget him. We still talk about him all the time, he was our brother and we reminisce about the good times. He was the kind of guy that would do anything for anyone, he was popular with everyone.

“He is missed by everyone and he wouldn’t miss a chance to come on trips with us.

“This is his final trip with us and it is almost a pilgrimage. He would have been the first to come along on a trip and he was a larger than character."

“He comes everywhere with us and he feels like he is here with us. It was such a sudden passing so it only feels right to remember him in this way, said retired driver Michael, from Toothill.

Scotland is a place of happy memories as Micky took his honeymoon there and the ‘brothers’ have also donned shorts with bearing pictures of Micky's face.

“Mickey would always come to us for trips and nights out so it was only right that we said goodbye to him in this way,” said Paul.

The friends are all members of the Swindon Transport brotherhood, a network of drivers that provides help and support.

“He had his own reasons for wanting to support this charity and we were all so proud of the work that he did in promoting the charity and raising money,” said Paul.

The bus driver brothers joined together to fundraise in his honour and plan to do further work for Prospect Hospice and Cancer Research UK.

Paul said: “We’ve raised a few toasts to him and we always talk to him and share our memories. We think of Micky all the time.”