https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17987 ... -farewell/
AN ADORED village postman was given a ‘rousing’ send-off after retiring from 25 years of service.
Graham Allen, 65, from Bicester, had been a Royal Mail postman delivering to villages around Bicester.
He spent almost ten years serving Fringford and its residents appreciated his work so much that they organised a surprise party at the village hall for him.
The gathering, held on Sunday, October 6, saw more then 100 people turn up and the hall was overflowing with cakes and pastries provided by residents.
Everyone enjoyed mingling while saying a personal thank you to Mr Allen.
Residents said the postman served the village very well and guests talked a great deal about him “going the extra mile” and “brightening up an otherwise dull day”.
They appreciated how the postman would not just deliver parcels and letters,but would also take time to get to know villagers and their needs along the way.
Mr Allen, who used to work as a telephone engineer in Bicester for 20 years before he became a postman, was presented with a large, multi-page greeting card containing hundreds of messages and gifts from many in the community.
He talked at the event about his love of walking around the village and seeing all the friendly residents.
A specially commissioned video was shown with many good luck messages from villagers of all ages which even included a message from the seabed of Egypt.
John Fargin, who lives in Fringford and helped organise the gathering, said: “Graham has been a real asset to the community and Fringford folk will miss him dearly. Most villagers, me included, appreciated his very positive, smiling outlook despite the weather.
“He also went out of his way to help people with parcel deliveries and looked in on some of the older residents on a regular basis.
“He now plans to continue coming for a walk in the village without his post bag.”
Mr Allen, who is married and has three sons and also delivered in neighbouring village Hethe, plans to travel around Europe.
Despite him now having more time on his hands to invest in his hobbies, the postman said he has enjoyed working and meeting many different people.
He said: “I’ve always enjoyed working outside even in all sorts of weather. It’s been a pleasure to deliver to a beautiful village - and Hethe too - with such friendly people.”
Mr Allen, who appreciated the kind messages of thanks and best wishes, has lived in Bicester since 1975 and has seen the town change substantially over the years.
Royal Mail workers have recently voted massively in favour of strikes, raising the threat of industrial action in the run-up to Christmas. If the strikes go ahead, it would be the first postal strike in a decade.