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Popular postie Rick Hollands retires after 45 years in Aylesford

Friday 12th July 2019

AYLESFORD postman Rick Hollands is hanging up his postbag after 45 years pounding the rounds.

The 68-year-old, who delivers to 370 addresses on his 30-mile patch each day, has earned a place in the hearts of residents, and a permanent home in the village’s alms houses.

He said: “I’ve met and made so many good friends. I can’t go anywhere now without people saying ‘hello’, which is lovely.

“I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Memories from his decades delivering post include a TV appearance after a clutch of birds was born in the post box at Kits Coty, forcing him to collect letters for weeks while asking villagers not to use the mailbox. And his uncomfortable first Morris Minor mail van.

He said: “The postie is now the only person who calls on everyone. I’ve always done bits of shopping for those who can’t get out, and taken parcels in for those I know are at work. I’ve grown up with this community and we have been there for each other.”

His years of service have not gone unnoticed, with colleagues, friends and neighbours making sure he had a first-class send-off on his last day.

They presented him with a Canon camera and engraved watch at the Freemason’s Arms, close to his workplace in Snodland. And, the following day, neighbours threw a surprise party at The Village Pantry tearooms in Aylesford.

Villager Philippa Beacher described Rick as “a brilliant postie”, saying his replacement (Paul) “has big shoes to fill”.

Susan Willmott added that he had been “a friendly face in the village, rain or shine.”

Despite being a man of leisure, Rick now confesses to feeling rather bored. But he does hope to take a holiday… his first in two decades. And, most importantly, he wants to learn how to lay-in past 2am.