HE was a postman who visited homes and businesses across the South Tyne Valley for over 30 years.

David Tulip was also an all-round sportsman who played his part in two of the district’s young footballers making their mark in the professional game.

Tributes have been paid to the popular Haydon Bridge man, who died peacefully in hospital, on May 1.

Born in Prudhoe on October 22, 1935, David was the eldest son of farm worker Johnny Tulip, and his wife Mary.

The family moved to various farms across the district, at High Mickley, Langley, Lipwood, Chollerton, Hexham, Warden, Allerwash, and near Haydon Bridge at West Land Ends and Chesterwood.

Johnny and Mary eventually moved into Haydon Bridge where David, his sister Betty, and brother Ken, went on to have their own families.

After leaving school, David worked for Fewster’s Sand and Gravel at Acomb, before joining the Mineral Treatment Company, associated with the mines at Settlingstones.

He moved on to Spadeadam in Cumbria where he carried out administrative duties during the site’s exciting pre-RAF days, which included the high-profile Blue Streak missile project and a Rolls Royce research programme.

David later played his part in a large-scale water main project at Tyne Green in Hexham, feeding the cement mixer with sand and gravel.

He joined the postal service in 1960, based at Bardon Mill post office and enjoyed picturesque rounds taking in stretches of Hadrian’s Wall.

The infamous snow storms of 1963 saw David take on snow drifts the height of houses, as he walked up to 20 miles a day with roads blocked.

The same year he moved to Haydon Bridge post office and remained with the service through motorisation and other technological changes, before taking early retirement due to severe arthritis in 1990.

David’s love of football was evident from childhood, as the talented two-footed youngster scored goals for teams including Barrasford and Stocksfield.

The skilful winger went on to play for Haydon Bridge, but after hanging up his boots David played a leading role in the development of junior football in the village by establishing an U18 team. He made professional clubs aware of the village’s emerging talent, and was proud to play contributing roles in Shaun Elliott becoming a future captain of Sunderland, and George Hope joining Newcastle United.

A lover of cricket, David captained the Haydon Bridge second team in the late 1960s and 70s, where he caught the eye of spectator, Joan Brown.

David and Joan were married in the mid 1970s and went on to have one son, former Courant reporter Joseph Tulip.

A very keen golfer, David played at both Allendale and Hexham, overcoming numerous disabilities to win several accolades. He was also a dedicated bowler and chess player.

Joan died aged 66 in 2009 and David suffered several strokes from 2014 onwards. Nevertheless, he lived independently with the support of family and carers, and travelled to watch his beloved Sunderland AFC until last year.

David’s health deteriorated more recently and he died peacefully at Newcastle’s RVI.

“Dad was a remarkable man who was determined to succeed in all he did,” said Joseph. “He battled adversity with incredible courage and remained fiercely independent right until the end, never losing his sharp wittedness and sense of humour. He will be greatly missed.”

A service will take place at Newcastle Crematorium on Thursday, May 20. Attendance is restricted, but the cortege will tour Haydon Bridge for people to pay their respects. The cortege will depart Martins Close at 1pm, travelling over the bridge and along Ratcliffe Road, through the estate and up Church Street.