A POSTMAN’S childhood dreams of driving a steam engine are to become reality after residents of the Charlton and Newbottle thanked him for 42 years service to the community.
David Turner, 65 who now lives in Middleton Cheney, only spent a year with the General Post Office when he first started in 1963 after the 14 hour days got the better of him.
But six years later with a baby on the way he needed a job for life and that is exactly what he got.
During the Royal Wedding celebrations at Charlton and Newbottle Primary School Lady Juliet Townsend presented Mr Turner with a replica of the Paddington Station Clock and a steam engine driving course to celebrate his retirement.
Mr Turner said he has had an eventful life as a postman, sometimes living within the communities he served, and sometimes being bitten by the dogs of people he knew.
“It does happen,” Mr Turner said. “The last one, about 2007, the last serious one, I was just walking in the street and a dog came up to me, didn’t bark or anything, and just took a chuck of my leg. I felt sorry for the owner. She’d only had it a week and was told it was well behaved.”
Mr Turner also has plenty of fond memories of his four decades as a village postie, in particular he met his second wife after trying to track down the recipient of a badly addressed parcel.
Mr Turner said: “No two days are the same and when I’m out on my deliveries it never seems to be boring and time passes very quickly.
“And people often say I look in good health, it must be the job that keeps me fit.”
Originally serving homes and businesses in the Banbury Mr Turner went on to cover rounds in Aynho, Kings Sutton, Charlton, and Newbottle
With transport as one of his biggest interests Mr Turner plans to travel, pursue his interest in the history of railways, has bought a motorbike, and is due to enrol at college to study IT and French.
Lady Juliet said a collection box at the Charlton Shop for the gift had to been rapidly hidden every time Mr Turner delivered, and thinks hundreds of people must have contributed.
Lady Juliet added: “He is an exceptional postman, he’s one of those who doesn’t just deliver your letters, he’s always looking out for elderly people in trouble, managed to get through the snow when I couldn’t get off my drive and a real friend to everyone.”