A RECORD-BREAKING post man is looking forward to handling only his own deliveries after 43 years on the job.
Bob Minett, thought to be the longest-serving Royal Mail employee in the area, retired last Wednesday.
Employees handed him gifts and best wishes at Sutton’s Langton Road sorting office, leaving him to put his feet up and ponder his four-decade achievement.
“I believe it’s a record for the area, so management say,” he said.
“I can still remember my first round in 1967 on the Ladybrook estate in Mansfield, thankfully it went really well.
“That was the era of two deliveries, you had a smaller one first at about 7am and got back for 10am, then went out again at 11am.”
After 13 years pounding the streets as a postman Bob entered management, working the final part of his career as a frontline manager at the Sutton office.
From early double deliveries to the arrival of email and talks of privatisation, the 65-year-old has witnessed a full modern history of the service.
“Weight has been the other big change,” he added.
“Deliveries have got heavier with things like big catalogues, which you didn’t use to have.”
“Now all the mail comes mechanised but when I started everything had to be sorted by hand.”
Going door-to-door was also different in the 60s, with clothing once part of a postman’s problems.
“When I first started the uniform was quite heavy material and when it rained it was like pulling a dead weight around with you,” he said.
“But now it’s light weight and much better.”
As Bob plans his retirement the Government is drafting plans to privatise Royal Mail in an effort to attract new investment.
“If the Government do sell it off it will be totally different,” he said.
“It would be a shame because Royal Mail has been in the public domain for 150 years, it’s iconic.”
Besides enjoying the break, among his immediate retirement plans are more rounds of golf with wife Barbara.
“I enjoyed management I also enjoyed the outdoors side of the job in the early days,” he added.
“It’s been great overall and I’ve seen a lot of changes. The staff were brilliant on Wednesday - I’ll miss the people and the camaraderie.”