IT'S a red letter day for a loyal and much-loved village postmaster described as “the pillar of his community” who is retiring after nearly five decades of service.

Wakes Colne postmaster Chris Eaton can finally put his feet up after 48 years in the role at the Post Office in the village.

Mr Eaton, who will soon celebrate his 80th birthday, took on the shop and Post Office in 1974.

Since joining Wakes Colne Post Office, Mr Eaton has had help from his entire family, including ex-wife Susan, daughters Louise and Katy and grandchildren Harry and Poppy.

In 2018, he was presented with the annual Wakes Colne Council Parish Award for his “continuing service and cheerful disposition to his customers”.

Halstead Gazette: Mr Eaton can finally kick his feet up after a well-earned retirementMr Eaton can finally kick his feet up after a well-earned retirement (Image: N/A)

On his time as a postmaster, Mr Eaton said: “It has been a fantastic experience, particularly engaging with my regulars every morning and forming great relationships over the years.

“It was a happy shop and Post Office in a lovely community.

“Becoming postmaster has also been a great way to meet new people within the community.

“Football was often the topic of conversation with customers as I would get quite a bit of teasing from customers for supporting Luton Town.”

READ MORE >> Police continue crackdown on anti-social behaviour issues in Halstead

Mr Eaton also relished on his time working through Covid-19.

He said: “During the pandemic, we managed to keep our shop and Post Office open and in turn, takings went up by 30 per cent.

“They needed us for shopping, fresh produce, to send mail and parcels, home shopping returns, bill payments and of course the Post Office.

“However, I couldn’t have made it through covid without all my wonderful staff and my partner Jinny. They were all extremely hands-on and helped navigate the stressful period.”

Post Office Area Manager Thakoor Maraj said: “Chris really is the pillar of his society.

“I commend his great work for looking after the Post Office for almost five decades and going above and beyond to help the community in all that they do. Chris is a first-class Postmaster.

“A warm kind man who will be missed by his friends who were his customers for many years.”

To mark Mr Eaton’s retirement, the village hall is hosting a special event this Sunday, January 22, from 2.30pm to 5pm, commending his dedicated service to the community.