Published: 09:00, 12 May 2014
| Updated: 09:00, 12 May 2014
A much-loved postman will be retiring after ensuring a village has long had first-class service.
Derek Whitelock, 65, is retiring in June, after 20 years doing the rounds in Yalding.
Over the years his customers have become his friends and Derek said: “I know lots of people in the community and they are very sociable. They always make time to talk to you.”
The postie faced a battle with mouth cancer two years ago and had to have part of his tongue removed, leaving him with speech difficulties.
But Derek said: “My customers helped me get through.”
After retirement, Derek is planning to spend more time relaxing in the Norfolk Broads.
Yalding postmaster Tim Chapman says that Derek will be greatly missed. Speaking of the Royal Mail stalwart, he said: “He is more than respected in the village. He is loved.
“Derek toddles off to do his rounds with his pockets full of chews that he gives to dogs, who come up to him.
“He’s a familiar sight in the village and we will all miss him.”
Derek, who lives in Chatham, admits that he would love to move to Yalding if finances permitted, but has instead pledged to visit after his retirement.
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