A dedicated postman is putting away his trolley for good after serving a city for more than 40 years.
Rodney Burlton, 67, joined Royal Mail in 1974 and has been delivering letters and packages in London Road, Brighton, for the past 23-and-a-half years.
But on Wednesday he waved goodbye to his friends, colleagues and customers and now he will begin a well-deserved retirement.
Mr Burlton, who delivers to more than 600 properties in London Road on each round, said: “I’ve got mixed feelings. In a way I’m sad to be leaving after 40 years and sad to be leaving the nice people I’ve met on my way.
“But I’m also looking forward to my retirement. I live in Hanover at the moment but the wife and I are moving to a bungalow in Lancing. We’ve never moved before so it’s very exciting.”
Sprightly Mr Burlton was working as a bus conductor when he was inspired to join Royal Mail by the number of postmen who used his bus.
He said: “I used to pick up a lot of the blokes and I thought to myself: ‘I fancy doing that’.
“And since that day I can say I’ve loved my job. Outdoor life has done me lots of favours. I’m 67-year-old but people say I look younger, which I put down to the exercise. I’ve never used a bike – always on foot. I reckon I’m still fit for my age.”
Mr Burlton used to carry a satchel filled to the brim with letters during his early Royal Mail years – but the invention of the internet and online shopping meant packages and parcels were now out-doing normal letters.
His trolley now carries about five-satchels worth of mail.
The number of addresses he delivers to has also increased in recent years, with new developments like the Open Market and the Co-op in London Road having numerous flats and apartments built alongside them.
Asked whether dogs were a postman’s worst enemy, Mr Burlton said: “You have to watch out for the cats too. They can be vicious if they catch your finger in a letter box.
“I won’t miss being chased by dogs. I had an Alsatian clamp its jaw round my leg once but he didn’t bite. I’ll instead be looking forward to perhaps taking up gardening.”
Marc Meeten, delivery office manager at Royal Mail’s North Road site, said: “I’d like to thank Rodney for his fantastic contribution to Royal Mail over the years. “Everyone at North Road will miss him and we wish him a long and happy retirement.”