Posted: 10.09.21 at 13:56 by Hannah Davenport
PETE Andrews has been a postman in Brentford and Isleworth for 45 years to the month.
But, much to the upset of his colleagues and customers, he made his final rounds last Friday as he retired from the profession for good.
As a leaving present, the residents of Old Isleworth chipped together £580 for the long-serving postie, who said he gets lost if he leaves the area.
“I was so sorry to say goodbye to them”, Pete, 61, said, “they were such nice people, always wanted to chat with you about anything, I miss that even now.
“Old Isleworth and Old Brentford were the best, the people around there were just amazing and warm.”
Growing up in Hounslow, Pete started delivering telegrams at 16-years-old, before he was moved to the Brentford sorting office in Lion Way at 18.
He said: “From the word go I liked my job, I liked going out and talking to people, I could never have worked in an office ever, I’ve just got to be outside all the time.
“I saw the job advert just turned up and started and that was it, it's the only job I've ever had.
“My first delivery was down the tower blocks down Green Dragon Lane, this was all by bike.”
Before the introduction of vans, Pete delivered by bike for 25 years.
“Parcels are a relatively new thing too. Before we’d get most of our mail in one pouch, now they’re taking about eight to ten pouches a day, things have changed big time.”
The landscape of Brentford was another area of change Pete noted.
“Brentford is just unrecognisable now, there’s got to be close to double the amount of delivery points as there was when I was 18, just in flats. And you’d never get stuck in traffic before.”
Asked about embarrassing postie interactions, he said he had a couple of naked doorstep encounters and had only been bitten by a (very small) dog once!
He mentioned delivering to two Labour MPs, the Keens, who took Pete and his family out to the House of Commons for tea one time.
Pete said he never would have left the job if Hounslow Royal Mail sorting office hadn’t moved further out, from Brentford to Hanworth, this summer.
The new location meant it was harder for Pete, who has three children and four grandchildren, to pick two of his grandkids up from school, which he does three times a week.
He said: “If we were still in Brentford I don’t think I would have gone, but now it’s quite a long way and it’s the stress of worrying if I’ll get stuck in traffic and be late to pick my grandkids up.
“I still loved the job and I was gutted to leave, Friday was probably one of the most emotional days of my life.”
Pete has started a new job as a cleaner at Pets at Home in Brentford working weekdays 7-9am.
He said: “It frightened me, after 45 years doing the same thing, but it just keeps you ticking over as I feel I’m a bit too young not to get out of bed and do something, I’ll get bored really quickly and if I don’t see people after the work I’ve had, I don’t know if I can cope with that.”
We wish Pete the best of luck in his new role and want to thank him for being a great postie to our community!
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