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Last post for Hawick mailman John, 71

10 May 2019, 12:39 ... -1-4924248

A former policeman turned postie has retired at the age of 71 after almost half a century of public service.

John Wilkinson worked as a police constable in Hawick, Eyemouth and Duns.

When he was forced to retire from the police at 55 after 30 years’ service, he became a postman in Eyemouth.

He also had a side job working with David Martin Funeral Directors there for a time.

John returned to Hawick as a postman in 2006 and delivered his final letters last Friday, May 3.

Retirement has come at the perfect time for the father of four as he awaits the arrival of his fifth grandchild in a couple of weeks. He now plans to spend more times with his grandbairns and wife of 31 years, Caroline.

John, of Cross Wynd in Hawick, said: “My career as a police constable was very rewarding. I was a constable in Eyemouth for a 21 years, where I got involved in the community and they accepted me quite well. It was all a great adventure.

“Before that, I did eight years in Hawick. After I retired, I became a postman and transferred back to Hawick in 2006.

“There’s no real difference between being a policeman and a postman. In both jobs, you are dealing with members of the public, which I thoroughly enjoyed. You’re dealing with vast numbers of complexities, you could say, with all kinds of different people, and I think of myself as a people person.

“Being a postie also helped to keep me fit. I did 30 hours a week and had my own walk and ran the office in the afternoon.

“I suppose you would call it a sideways step becoming a postman, but I react well with the public, both good and bad.

“I also worked in the undertaking business in Eyemouth when I left the police and before I went back to Hawick.

“I would go in and help from time to time, removing bodies, making up coffins, burials, cremations.

“Again, it was all about people, although these people didn’t speak to you.”

He added: “I’ll miss dealing with the public. I’ll miss the chit-chat with the regular customers. To be quite honest with you, I can be cheeky at times and I can say things that could be near the bone.

“I have been able to continue to work into my seventies as a postman as there is no age discrimination at all.”

As for his retirement plans, John, also a press officer for the town’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution crew during his time in Eyemouth, said: “My plan is just to take the grandchildren for walks and look after my wife and family.”

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