by Ian Smith
AFTER getting up at 5am for the past 42 years, you’d think postman Brian Lennon would be ready for a lie-in now that he’s retired.
Unfortunately his body clock is having none of it and Brian, of Greenwood, Tweedmouth, still finds himself wide awake in the early hours.
“It’s taking some getting used to,” he admitted. “I think my body is well conditioned into waking up at 5am after all these years!”
Brian, 65, has been a familiar figure delivering post to households across north Northumberland and Berwickshire since 1969.
In recent times his patch has covered Horncliffe, Foulden, Lamberton and Berwick, during which he has clocked up thousands of miles.
For many years he also pounded the pavements around Berwick’s housing estates in Prior Park, Highcliffe and Eastcliffe. Perhaps that’s the reason he’s recently had to have two knee replacement operations. “I’ve never worked from the office over all those years and that’s the way I liked it,” confessed Brian. “It was always nice to be out and about seeing people.”
The affection which people had for him was all too evident when he made his final deliveries last month. Horncliffe residents even put out bunting to greet him and more than 70 residents turned up to a farewell reception in the Fishers Arms!
“It was quite overwhelming,” said Brian. “I was totally gobsmacked by the reception I got in Horncliffe and all the effort they’d gone to with bunting and ‘Postman Pat’ things all round the village. It really was tremendous to see so many people in the pub, although I decided it was best not have a drink myself as I still had a few deliveries to make! It wasn’t just Horncliffe either. I got a tremendous send-off from all the villages and farms I visited on my regular route.”
One Horncliffe resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We wanted Brian to know how much we appreciated what he’d done over the years so a group of residents got together and organised a reception in the pub. The fact it was standing room only and people were queuing at the door to get in shows how much he meant to people here.
“Horncliffe is a pretty remote place and there are a lot of elderly residents, including lots who live alone, and Brian would always pop in to have a chat and make sure they were fine.
“He was an old fashioned postie in that way and a really nice guy as well. There aren’t too many like him around any more so there’s no doubt he’ll be missed.”
Back at the Berwick sorting office at Woolmarket there was also a farewell get together with work colleagues. “They’re a good bunch,” said Brian. “My bosses at the post office were good to me too,” he added.
Indeed, such was the reception everywhere he went that Brian was lost for words. “I couldn’t even speak when I got home,” he said. “I think it was all just a bit too much for me at the time. It was an emotional day.”
He admits he’s been taking it easy over the past few weeks and isn’t looking for that to change.
“I’m still treating it as a bit of a holiday at the moment, just winding down,” he admitted. “I think that it you’ve worked for 50 years like me then you deserve a bit of time off!”