Villagers turn out in numbers in Bawdeswell to say goodbye to ‘Postman Dave’

Postman Dave Froome is retiring after doing the round in Bawdeswell for 12 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Postman Dave Froome is retiring after doing the round in Bawdeswell for 12 years. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Community spirit may too often be a thing of the past, but one small Norfolk village was united in saying goodbye to a much-loved retiring postman.

Dressed in his red top and grey trousers or shorts 'Postman Dave' Froome has been a familiar sight delivering the mail to villagers in Bawdeswell, near Dereham, for 12 years.

During that time he has become such a popular member of the community that about 50 people took time out of their busy lives to gather at the village green at lunchtime today to say goodbye.

The 60-year-old, who is retiring for personal reasons, said: 'I did not expect this. I'm amazed how many people have turned up.

'I've met some really lovely people. It will be a strange feeling not getting up for work in the morning, which I think I'll get used to. What I will miss is not seeing you lot. It has been great being a postman here.

'It's a big round - 497 calls - and everyone has always stopped for a chat.'

Bill Cunliffe, Bawdeswell Parish Council chairman, presented Mr Froome with a framed picture of the village and a cheque for money donated by the villagers. He was also given many cards from well-wishers.

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Mr Cunliffe said: 'A large turn-out wished Dave well in his retirement and thanked him for being much more than a postman, more a friend of the village.'

Mr Froome, who lives in Dereham, has been a postman for 20 years. Before he came to Bawdeswell he delivered mail to other places in the county, including Cromer and Holt, and he was also a manager.

The grandfather-of-two received a silver tiepin for his 20 years' service.

Customers Roy and Elena Reed said: 'He's not just a postman - he was a friend to everyone. Even dogs loved him. If anyone had problems or was in trouble he would help them.'

Olive, 90, and Ron Mercer, 91, claim to be the oldest people in Bawdeswell. Mrs Reed said: 'He's been a lovely fellow, one of the best, and it will take a lot to replace him.'

Geoffrey Edwards is the new postman starting on Monday.

Are you saying goodbye to a community stalwart? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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