First class Louth postman Tim retires after 47 years

1970 saw the end of The Beatles and the rise of disco music - but it was also the beginning of a first class career for Louth postman Tim Broughton.
Popular Louth postman Tim Broughton has now retired after 47 years and 11 months.Popular Louth postman Tim Broughton has now retired after 47 years and 11 months.
Popular Louth postman Tim Broughton has now retired after 47 years and 11 months.

Now 47 years and 11 months later, the popular postal stalwart has handed over the last of his mail, and said it has been an ‘absolute privilege’ to serve the people of Louth.

The 65-year-old began his career as a junior postman with the General Post Office, as it was known back then on May 4,1970.

Mr Broughton said he was training to make turbines for engines at Ruston and Hornby in Lincoln, but admitted it wasn’t going well.

His recalled how his father had seen an advertisement in our own ‘Louth Standard’ for a postman and a young 17-year-old Tim decided to apply as he felt he had nothing to lose .

The main postal depot was based in Eastgate, and still is to this day.

When Mr Broughton first started, he revealed Louth’s Malt Kiln was very much in action and the town had a fully-functional train station.

He said he would have to go up once a day to collect the post, which came from the main branch, and at that time was in Peterborough.

But, in those days the mail came second string to the telegram, which Mr Broughton said was the ‘priority service’.

He recalled: “Telegrams were a big thing in those days and were delivered at any time during the day.

“There were telephones, but it was a very expensive service to use.”

Mr Broughton revealed his first delivery was the round in the main town centre and was known as ‘Town 12’, as postcodes were not brought in until 1972.

He remembers the early days: “My first uniform was grey and it was like wearing a three-piece suit.

“My locker had a 1940s’ pin up inside, which I kept because it was like having someone watching over me.”

Mr Broughton added that each day was different, and some days he’d be off on the town runs and others would be delivering telegrams to the local villages.

He said:“You had to visit the village post offices to ask for directions to all of the houses.

“Most of them had post offices, but now there’s hardly any.”

Mr Broughton spent his years learning every postal skill going, from sorting letters out by hand, to driving the vans and learning how to ride a motorbike, which is something he said he’ll never forget.

He added: “I must admit I did fall off my motorbike once during training and my instructor couldn’t stop laughing at me.”

The postmen would work seven days a week, 365 days a year, including Christmas, which Mr Broughton revealed was one of the hardest parts of the job.

Inbetween work, there was a snooker table as well as a table tennis table in the sorting office, which soon became his favourite sport.

He also had a passion for photography and enjoys doing this even more now he’s retired.

But sadly over the years, due to the heavy bag loads of mail they had to carry on foot, Mr Broughton’s back deteriorated, which became one of his main reasons for retiring before the big 50th year.

He said: “I have loved my time being a postman, I’ve had some amazing colleagues and made many friends along the way - so I would like to say a massive thank you all of them.”

So, now you may see Tim enjoying a swim at the local pool, or behind his camera taking photographs - and if you do see him around town, don’t forget to smile.