Well-known faces from Colne’s Royal Mail Sorting Office

SEND OFF: Harold's Royal Mail farewell, 1984. (S)
SEND OFF: Harold's Royal Mail farewell, 1984. (S)

Last week was exactly 30 years since my late dear friend and colleague Harold (Dai) Evans collapsed with an oesophageal oedema at our workplace, the Colne Royal Mail Sorting Office in Albert Road.

Harold, a truly dedicated and much-loved postman for over three decades, was seriously ill and, at the age of just 56, had to be medically retired from the Royal Mail.

After Harold’s long-service statutory three months’ notice, on his last official day of services on a sunny June day in 1984, I invited to our sorting office Harold’s many fellow workers and retired friends from his long postal career.

In the centre of our photo we can see Harold on the left being presented with his valedictory scroll by, on the right, head-postmaster Stan Sharples.

That’s me, “yours truly” in the short-lived Royal Mail “Teddy Boy” uniform between the two of them.

Altogether on the big day a grand total of 56 of Harold’s past and present colleagues turned up.

Here are dozens of the best-known faces in Colne. Jack Priestley, 50 years service (1932-1982) at Colne Sorting Office is here, as are long-serving Royal Mail men Arthur Hargreaves, Ken Speak, Joe Kibble, Dennis Boulger, Eddie Thorley, Fred Whitaker, Jack Wareing, Eddie Stradling, Harry (Shufti) Watson, Eric Eagle, Jim Harris, George Yates, Harry Waters, Bob Gregson, Eric Ramsden, Dave Blackburn, Tommy Kegg, Harvey Watson, Johnny Hutton, Norman Hartley and Jim Halstead.

Also not forgetting, now in his 92nd year, Colne’s oldest surviving postman, the genial and erudite Frank Storey.