Postman’s pat on the back after 30 years of first class service around Fakenham
08:57 19 June 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2014
For people living in Hindringham, David Neill has been a familiar and friendly face during his three decades as the village postman.
It will be 30 years to the day that Mr Neill, from Fakenham, joined the Royal Mail on Wednesday.
His long and dedicated service has been recognised with a certificate and gift vouchers from Royal Mail.
Mr Neill, 49, has spent his entire career working from the Fakenham sorting office, on Holt Road and on the Hindringham round.
He has also worked in Binham and Bale.
Mr Neill said he fell into the job but still looks forward to going into work every day.
He believes his start in the career was assisted by a lack of strong competition during his interview.
Mr Neill said: “I never knew what I wanted to do when I was at school.
“I had been working as a painter and decorator but the work often dried up in the winter.
“A mate in the pub told me there was a job going at Royal Mail, so I applied.
“When I was sitting outside the interview room the other candidate told me he wasn’t very good at getting up early in the mornings. I thought: ‘I hope he says that in the interview’.
“I’d been doing a paper round since I was 14 so it was never a problem to me.”
And while angry dogs are an occupational hazard for most postmen and women, Mr Neill is happy to report he has suffered just three dog bites in 30 years.
He said: “Some colleagues have had it much worse and some have been badly hurt.
“Because I’ve been doing the job for so long the customers know when I’ll be there, so the dogs get locked away.”
He added: “I love the job. I’ve always been an outdoors person.
“It’s good exercise and the customers have become great friends to me.
“It’s strange to see the kids at the school in Hindringham, when I started, are now grown-ups bringing their own kids in.
“There’s always a great atmosphere at Fakenham as well and a lot of banter.
“I like to wind up the younger guys by telling them the first 20 years are the hardest and it gets easier from there.”