Bow postman Peter delivers his last letter after 50 years

Postman Peter Cecil, right, has a laugh with work colleague John Warren, as he is retiring after 50

Postman Peter Cecil, right, has a laugh with work colleague John Warren, as he is retiring after 50 years of serving in the local area. - Credit: Archant

Postman Pete Cecil retired last week after 50 years delivering mail in snow, hail, sun and rain to homes and businesses in Bow.

The popular long-serving postie smiles when he thinks of all the thousands of miles he has trudged and all the letters, parcels and bills he has carried on his rounds.

But one thing the 65-year-old grandfather of four won’t miss is getting up at the crack of dawn each day having never been able to sleep in past four or five in the morning.

It was in 1964 that Peter, aged 16, became a messenger boy, delivering telegrams around East London.

Two years later he joined Tredegar Road sorting office as a postman - just 100 yards from where he was born.

“I was on the same walk for 25 years. I knew everyone and everybody knew me. If I go down to Roman Road now people always stop to say hello,” he said.

He progressed from pedal bike to motorbike and on to vans, but the life of a postie inevitably covers big distances on foot every day.

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“My legs are really short now,” he jokes. “It keeps you fit and thin, and I think I’ll start to put on weight now.”

Another thing he says he won’t miss is the potential hazard people’s pet dogs pose.

“I’ve been bitten twice. One time I bent down to give a lady her parcel and her little Jack Russell jumped up and latched onto my tie. She had to get some scissors to cut my tie off.”

He intends to spend his retirement gardening and spending time with his family.

Reflecting on his days as a postman, he added: “You’re your own governor and it’s so nice being out in the fresh air, whether it’s raining or snowing, which it was a lot of the time. It has been a pleasure.”

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