A POPULAR postie who has been delivering mail for more than two decades is set to retire. Karen Harris from Uttoxeter became a postwoman in the mid-90s. After more than 20 years in the role she will hang her boots up for good on Friday (October 18). Karen recalled some of the highs and lows of her career as a postie ahead of her final delivery on Friday.
She said: “I started work as a ‘postie’ in the mid-90s, getting up at 4am to commence my shift at 4.50am.
“We first carried the mail on bicycles and then with a van driver delivering our parcels.
“Royal Mail put me through my driving test; I went Monday to Thursday and took my test on the Friday.
“I was a bit taken aback when they showed me a very large Bedford van I was to drive the following Monday.
“Over the years I have done every rural and town round in the office. I also acted as assistant manager for a while but my real love was being outdoors with the customers.
“I am bringing up two of my grandsons aged 10 and 14. They have lived with me for over eight years after their parents separated so I am still going to be busy.
“I also love decorating and gardening. My grandsons have already chosen colours for their bedroom.
“The funniest thing I’ve seen was an ex-colleague arrive back at the office wearing what looked like a maxi-skirt. He was quite a strapping lad so I did a double-take.
“Apparently he was getting something out of the side of the van when a lady drove by so closely she had shredded his trousers.
“The most tragic thing I witnessed on delivery was when an old friend of my father’s was cycling up Cheadle Road on the pavement when a young driver hurtled down New Road and lost control on the roundabout.
“He collided with the old gentleman, sending him flying into the air. I cradled him until the air ambulance arrived but sadly, he died.
“I have loved my job but sadly with bad arthritis in both feet and hands and way past my 65th birthday I have made the decision to hang my boots up.”
Karen grew to be a much-loved character by her customers. Uttoxeter resident Robert Hunt told the Times and Echo: “We have only lived in Uttoxeter for a few years but it has been a pleasure to have Karen as our postie.
“We will miss her, the warm smile and, at Christmas time, the Santa hat and beard.’
We are the only family run, independent newspaper and magazine business in Staffordshire, established 1896. We are home to three weekly newspapers – The Cheadle and Tean Times (aka The Stunner), The Uttoxeter Echo and The Blythe and Forsbrook Times.
We also produce Peeps into the Past, a bi-monthly nostalgic glimpse into our photographic archives, and three bi-monthly glossy lifestyle magazines – Stone and Eccleshall Life, Leek Life and Newcastle Life.
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5 Church Street, Uttoxeter, Staffs ST14 8AG (Uttoxeter Office is a postal address only)