“We’re going to miss him,” Poets’ community says “goodbye” to much-loved postman

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Graham McFiggins (centre) surrounded by the people he's delivered letters to for 30 years. Image: Bedford Independent
Graham McFiggins (centre) surrounded by the people he's delivered letters to for 30 years. Image: Bedford Independent

It was the perfect way to end his final round, with Poets’ residents coming out today (Tuesday) to say “thank you and goodbye” to Graham McFiggins who has been their postman for 30 years.

In 1984, when he was just 26, Graham started work as a postman and began his round in the Poets area 10 years later.

In that time, he’s walked an estimated 124,800 miles, the equivalent of five times around the world, delivering letters and getting to know the people living and working along the route who have become an extended family.

Today, the day before his 66th birthday he posted his final letter.

“I’m gonna miss all these people. I’ve known them for so long. I’ve seen bubbies being born, I’ve seen those bubbies grow up and have bubbies of their own,” he told the Bedford Independent.

Sidney Road residents, Sonia Dee and Chris Dee, organised and raised a staggering £1555 collection amongst their Poets neighbours as a thank you for all he has done for the community.

Graham McFiggins speaking to Sonia Dee who helped organise a collection worth £1,555 as a thank you. Image: Bedford Independent
Graham McFiggins speaking to Sonia Dee who helped organise a collection worth £1,555 as a thank you. Image: Bedford Independent

“Graham has been a fantastic postman and is a genuine, kind person who has helped us on many occasions. For example, I’ve got a crutch and he’ll help me carry my bags inside.

“He deserves the recognition and to know how much he has been appreciated all these years. We’re going to miss him,” said Sonia.

The cash and many other gifts were handed to Graham at an event organised by Cllr Colleen Atkins (Labour), who also lives in Poets, at the Verve Hotel on Shakespeare Road, where his round ends.

Graham was overwhelmed as he was hugged and thanked by the gathered crowd of almost 100 people, who also handed him more retirement and birthday gifts.

Fighting back tears he said, “Well, I don’t know what to say that. This is incredible, the people are incredible. When it’s hot, I’ve been given cold drinks when it’s cold, I get hot drinks. I’ve always been looked after. I’m gonna miss these people.”

Colleen added, “I have lived in the Poets area for over 40 years and Graham has delivered my letters for 30 of them.

“He’s a friend to everyone, keeps an eye on the area and notices when things aren’t quite right. He will be greatly missed but it helps knowing he’s now going to have a well-earned rest.”

Graham was hugged and thanked by many of the Poets residents who turned up to say "good bye". Image: Bedford Independent
Graham was hugged and thanked by many of the Poets residents who turned up to say “good bye”. Image: Bedford Independent

Along with Poets’ residents, Graham’s family also came along to his farewell event, including his dad Mac, his partner Louise, his daughter Lisa, and her two children Amalie (seven) and Leila (five), and Graham’s other daughter Joanne, with one-year-old son Toby.

Asked what he’s going to do next, Graham says he’s going to be putting his feet up on a short break with his family and then settling into retirement with his hobbies of gardening, fishing and watching his favourite football team Tottenham Hotspur.

 
 
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