Marston Moretaine Postmaster, Bill Chandi, has been given a special Post Office recognition award for the role he played in helping to mark the 100th birthday of Captain Sir Tom.
The small Post Office in the village near Bedford handled over 200,000 cards, letters and gifts that were sent to Captain Sir Thomas Moore, with well-wishes still coming in.
“My Post Office is at the heart of the Marston Moretaine community,” said Bill. “I am delighted to have played a part in this amazing story.
“By accepting 100th birthday cards and donations for this community’s most famous resident, [it] really lifted our spirits during this pandemic.
“Not everyone could make donations online so it was great to provide Marston Moretaine Post Office as somewhere to send donations by post.”
Post Office Chief Executive Nick Read, said: “Bill is a pillar of the community and he has certainly gone the extra mile by providing somewhere for people to send 100th birthday cards, transporting gifts to Captain [Sir] Tom’s home and processing lots of donations inside the mail.”
Bill was also presented with two giant collages of photos of Marston Moretaine Post Office’s involvement with Captain Sir Tom’s birthday celebrations and fundraising.
The cards were transported from the Marston Moretaine post office and sorted at Bedford School where Captain Tom’s grandson Benjie Ingram-Moore attends.
Ideas for how the cards will now be used and displayed are being discussed. All the stamps have also been collected and will be donated to charity.
Captain Sir Tom’s initial idea was to raise £1,000, as a thank you for treatment he received from the NHS for skin cancer and a broken hip.
But it captured the imagination of people around the world and donations came pouring in.
He raised over £32 million by the time the official fundraising closed and has since been knighted for his efforts.