A popular school caretaker and lifelong Beatles fan has described his amazement after receiving a signed letter from Sir Paul McCartney to wish him well in his retirement.

Janitor Andy Cairns was presented with the note at a surprise special assembly on his last day at the Edinburgh school where he has worked for the last four years.

Sir Paul sent the note - in which he urges the caretaker to "keep rockin'" - after all of the children at the city's St Cuthbert's RC Primary School wrote to the star.

Speaking after the presentation, Mr Cairns, who turned 65 this week, told Press Association Scotland: "I'm a big Beatles fan. The kids had sent letters to his office and he responded, which was amazing.

"I'm just overwhelmed. I thought I was in a dream at first. Words can't describe it, I'm such a fan, it's just amazing."


Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Mr Cairns is retiring after 50 years of work, primarily as a mechanic and more recently as janitor at the school.

The typed and hand-signed letter from the Beatles star reads: "The children of St Cuthbert's have sent me lots of letters to tell me how much they like you so I reckon you must be quite a good guy.

"I want to wish you all the very best on your retirement and remember keep rockin'!"

The school assembly held for Mr Cairns on Thursday also included a This is your Life event for him, to which his family and friends were invited.

Class teacher Jennifer Lawrie explained why she came up with the idea of having the pupils contact Sir Paul about the janitor.

"I thought, 'why don't we just give it a go?' Andy sings The Beatles from the minute he gets in the door to the minute he leaves."

She said staff were amazed to receive the letter from the star and had to keep it secret from the caretaker for several days.

He was "absolutely thrilled" when they were finally able to hand over the paperwork, she said.

Ms Lawrie added: "Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most famous people in the world and the fact he's taken time out of his very busy schedule to write a letter means the world to Andy."