He started his working career as a telegram boy at 16 but this dedicated postman’s heart has always belonged to the people of Hampton-in-Arden.
Paul Bradley has spent over 30 years carrying on the same postal round in the picturesque Solihull village – and now has hung up his Royal Mail coat and delivered his last letter.
The 54-year-old spent the first two years of his working career as a telegram boy in Birmingham before starting his round in Hampton-in-Arden.
“It is the people who have made the job,” said Paul. “I never wanted to move from my round in Hampton-in-Arden because it is such a great place. The people have been great and it has been lovely watching some of the children grow up and have their own children.”
Paul’s father, Norman Bradley, was the manager of Solihull postal sorting office.
“You could say I have followed in my father’s footsteps,” Paul added.
“But I didn’t fancy going into management like him, I preferred to be a plodder.
“I started the job just as they did away with motorcycles so I have always driven a van around. In those days, we were also still hand delivering oversized packages.”
Apart from almost being attacked by two rottweilers, Paul said he could not think of many downsides to being a postman.
“The dogs trapped me in a porch. I just closed my eyes, walked between them and hoped for the best,” he said.
“Apart from the bad weather, there is no down side to the job.
“I have obviously seen a lot of changes with Royal Mail over the years and I felt now was the time to leave, while the going was good.”
Members of the Hampton-in-Arden community gathered recently to say farewell to the popular postie. A collection was organised by the owner of the corner shop in the village, Julie Williamson.
Local resident Mike Nevin said: “We will all miss Paul, he did a fantastic job in the village.
“He was very popular and we could not let his go without giving him a proper send-off.”