A VILLAGE community has been united in saying ‘thank you’ to its postman, who ‘always went the extra mile’ on his retirement.

On Saturday November 8, postman Dave Glasper made his last delivery to Bolam in County Durham after nearly 20 years of delivering post and parcels to the small community that lost its post office years ago.

Mr Glasper had been a postman since leaving the army in 1976.

Residents of Bolam said that Mr Glasper ‘always with a smile on his face - even in the face of the infamous 'Bolam fog'.

Mr Glasper did not just receive a big 'thank you' from his loyal customers, but also a village collection and individual presents from families who will never forget him.

Trish Pemberton, a resident of Bolam said: “He has been the most amazing postman, we decided to do a collection for him.

“We managed to get £375 from the 35 houses of Bolam, and I think four other villages he delivers to might have done the same thing.

“He’s going to be a hard act to follow.”

Another Bolam resident John Todd said: “He’s been a smashing postman, always cheerful.

“Everyone in the village has nice things to say about him.”

A few other villages on his rural postal round did the same thing, including Redworth and Newton.

Mr Glasper ended his last shift with hundreds of cards - all addressed to him.

Mr Glasper said: “I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people on my round; it was a bit emotional and I couldn’t really believe it.

“I was lucky enough to get to know them all in the village.

“The highlight of it was that everyone was so nice, during Covid I offered to help out if they wanted it.

"I would buy goods at the shop for them, many residents are old and there is no shop in Bolam so it was difficult for them to get food.

“There were times when I broke down and residents had to come and help me out, they got me going again.

"There was also a time when I got stuck in the snow but, as the saying goes, the post must get through.”

Mr Glasper intends to spend his retirement gardening and touring in his new caravan.

He added: “I’d like to thank the people of Bolam for their support through the years.”

A Royal Mail Spokesperson said: “We have been inundated with messages from our customers across the country in praise of the extra lengths our postmen and women have been going during the coronavirus crisis.

"We know that local communities really value what our postmen and women are doing in these challenging times, and we’re really proud of them, too”.