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Tributes to popular Orpington postman Charlie Gillett
HIS cheery whistle may be heard no more on the streets of Orpington.
But the popular postie Charlie Gillett is still remembered and residents are expected to pay tribute to him in large numbers on Wednesday (19).
Mr Gillett, who died aged 97 on September 6, was revered during his 10 years as a postman by all age groups on his Cloonmore patch.
Reverend Alan Bowley, who worked at the post office alongside Mr Gillett, says there were not many posties who were more "dedicated" to their job.
"He went out on his round whether it was rain, wind or sunshine," said Rev Bowley, 83, who will conduct the ceremony. "He was a happy go lucky chap and as postman he was very dedicated.
"He put the customer first every time and would go out of his way to make sure he did his round."
Rev Bowley says particulary around the hilly area of Cloonmore where if it snowed, Mr Gillett would leave his bike behind and complete his round on foot.
On retiring in 1979, residents threw a party for him where he received a £100 cheque, two scrap books and a silver bone from "all the animals who loved him".
His niece Pamela Whitlock says the family had lost contact with Charlie for over 30 years before locating him in 2004.
"He seemed to be a happy fella," said Mrs Whitlock. "But everything we know is from the cuttings."
The albums contained 150 signatures and poems thanking him for his service and pictures of children standing across Cloonmore with "Charlie’s patch" signs.
The Whitlock family hope people will come to Wednesday’s service giving them a chance to learn more about a very special postman.
Charles Frederick Gillett died at home, Apsley Court, in St Mary Cray.
The funeral is on Wednesday, September 19 at 1pm at Eltham Crematorium.