A POSTMAN who started in the industry more than two decades ago has delivered his last letter.

Alan Batey has been doing the rounds of Haltwhistle since 2001 when he wanted a change in career from working on his family farm.

The 63-year-old has now decided to retire to spend more time relaxing.

Mr Batey, of Hayden Bridge, said he was not aware of the impact he had on the community — or what his co-worker arranged before his retirement.

“I hoped it would be a low-key day, but my co-worker, Amy Tweddle, thought differently,” he said.

“She took a picture, but I didn’t know it was on Facebook until when I was delivering and people stopped me to talk or wish me well.

“I was very surprised so many people knew about it, but I guess that is the power of Facebook. I don’t have Facebook but my wife does so I was reading the comments and I have to say I was tearful.”

He first joined the post office after wanting a change from working on his family farm in 2001. It was also around the time of foot-and-mouth crisis so he decided to look for another career.

“I saw the advert in a newspaper and thought why not?” he said. “It was a big change from the farm, which was quite isolating, to suddenly being in a room with 80 people, but I do not regret it at all.”

Mr Batey was also a part-time community firefighter but the station closed in 2016.
He is now using the time to relax.

“I have given up a lot of time for others and the community so I think it is time to do something for myself and play more golf, walk and cycle,” he said.

“I would like to thank everyone for their lovely comments and best wishes regarding my retirement.

“I would also like to say thanks to everyone on who talked to me on my rounds, including my last one, but I also want to thank the wider Haltwhistle community for the kindness you have shown him over many years.”