POPULAR ferryman and the self-proclaimed ‘happiest man in Cornwall’ has retired after over 15 years of service.

Graham Tolman, from Feock, joined the King Harry Ferry Co. in 2004, and completed his final shift just before Christmas.

Friends and colleagues gathered afterwards for a surprise send-off complete with fireworks and celebratory drinks.

Garrick Royle, managing director, praised Graham for his dedicated and hardworking service and presented him with retirement gifts from the company. Testament to his great service, Graham also received cards, gifts and well-wishes from many regular passengers who have come to know and admire Graham over the years.

He said: "Graham’s retirement marks a huge loss to the King Harry Ferry Co., he will be greatly missed by colleagues and passengers alike. We wish to thank him for giving such loyal service for so many years and sincerely hope he enjoys his well deserved rest.”

Graham has a long background as a boatman serving in the Merchant Navy before swapping the high seas for the tranquil banks of the Fal River.

He plans to spend his retirement with his wife Jill and have plenty of time fishing and gardening.

The King Harry Ferry was established in 1888, and connects St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula with Feock, Truro and Falmouth by avoiding the alternative 27-mile route through Truro and Tresillian.

It runs 364 days a year and is popular not only with commuters but also holidaymakers.