Popular retiring Ribble Valley postie given a hero's farewell after 32 years of service

Much-loved Valley postman Kevin Michael Kelly (aka Mick), who has gone "above and beyond" for his community, was delivered a special surprise when he turned up for his last day at work.

Mick overwhelmed with the cards and gifts he received
Mick overwhelmed with the cards and gifts he received

The 65-year-old was hanging up his mail bag after 32 years of deliveries - for the past 16 years he has been the postman for Grindleton and the surrounding hamlets of Holden, Baygate, Lane Ends, Harrop Fold,.

So, after delivering his last letter, he was "overwhelmed" to find villagers who had socially-distantly gathered to bid him farewell.

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Mick described his last day as "truly amazing" and one he will never forget.

Villagers signed a massive card to thank Mick for everything he has done for the community

"It was truly tremendous and like a hero's farewell," he commented. "The presentation from Grindleton village (by Maggie and Mike Bazley) was truly amazing and my last day was very special with people waiting at their doors to say goodbye and take photographs, waving goodbye from upstairs windows, waiting at the end of their lanes to wish me all the best, it was a day I will never forget."

Village resident Maggie Fielding, who organised the collection, said; "Mick has been an amazing postman who has gone above and beyond for his community. He always had time for everyone in the village, went out of his way to ensure parcels were kept safe if people were not home. He ensured people received the best service possible, and he was so well respected. He was a massive part of the community. He knew everyone and who they were related to. Mick is welcome at any village gathering once lockdown is over."

Mick was presented with a framed picture of "Postman Mick" as he was known to the village youngsters. The picture was drawn by Mark Preston, who was struck down by ME in his thirties and had to give up a promising career and all the sports he played. He also received a collection from the village, which will allow him to realise his dream of visiting Yellowstone National Park in America.

Mick, who lives in Clitheroe, became a postman in December 1989, working at the delivery office at Accrington. Four years later he was transferred to Clitheroe Delivery Office where he has worked since.

Looking forward to retirement, Mick said: "Once the Covid restrictions are lifted, I plan to travel the world! I am hoping to visit the Yellowstone National Park, which has always been a dream of mine. I intend visiting the Freshfield Squirrel Reserve in Formby, more often where I’ve spent many happy hours watching and photographing the little red squirrels. I’m also going to build a patio in my back garden so I can sit outside and relax with my neighbours. "I, of course, plan to spend more time with my daughter Jodie (30), son Shaun (29) and two grandsons five-year-old Oliver and Joshua (three)."

He went on to say: "I’ve been very privileged to have been the postman to an amazing community and I felt welcomed like one of their own. What I loved about my job is serving the local community and meeting people. I enjoyed every day of going into work. I have many happy memories to cherish and I will always take the time to pop back and find out how everyone is doing."