They tracked down popular postie Aitken Walker on his morning round to present him with a greetings card marking his forthcoming retirement along with a £270 monetary gift from villagers — grateful for his good service over quarter of a century.
Annan native Aitken, who has been with Royal Mail for 35 years, expressed surprise and said he was touched by the gesture, the result of a door-to-door collection by organisers in the border village.
He said: “I’ve been 25 years on this round and got to know everyone very well. I think of those I deliver to more as friends, rather than purely customers. I’d like to thank all those I’ve got to know down the years and everyone who contributed to the collection.”
Originally dealing with the mail at the old post and sorting office in Gretna, Aitken has in recent years been based at the Annan delivery office. He also covers parts of Gretna and a rural area near the Scotland-England border.
A small delegation of residents made the presentation at the entrance of the village at lunchtime on Tuesday as he finished his busy round.
One of the organisers, Betty Thorburn, said: “Aitken has been part of the community for so long that we felt we had to do something. The response in the village was amazing. He is very well-liked.
“Aitken has the nickname ‘Postman Pat’ and goes above and beyond to make sure we all get our letters and parcels delivered securely. We wish him a happy retirement and hope he has more time to play golf, which I know he enjoys.”