A much-loved Cambuslang postie has hung up has mail bag for the last time after serving the Royal Mail for almost five decades.
Davie Lawson, affectionately known by his colleagues as “Duke”, called time on his 48 years’ service on Saturday to enjoy a well-earned retirement.
Davie, 65, of Halfway, gave up his job as a van boy to join the Royal Mail as a fresh-faced 18-year-old.
The former Gateside Secondary pupil swapped one van for another when he followed in the footsteps of dad, Hector, by becoming a postman, delivering mail from Eastfield to Blantyre and along the rural routes to East Kilbride.
“When I started, they were desperate for drivers,” explained grandfather-of-four, Davie. “They asked me if I’d be willing to learn to drive and, within three or four weeks, they put me through my test. I’ve been driving for them ever since and I’ve been on the same run for 35 years.”
Known to many families for his friendly wave and cheerful demeanour, the announcement of his retirement, posted on social media by workmate Kenny Reeves, attracted hundreds of messages from well-wishers, many of whom considered him not only their postman, but also their friend.
“I just like meeting all my customers. Some of them I’ve known since I was at school,” said Davie, who was based at Cambuslang Investment Park.
“It’s the best part of the job. That is what I will miss most – my customers and my colleagues. There are a lot of new starts, but I have known some of my colleagues for many years. We always had a laugh and a carry on.”
Up until Saturday, when he handed over the keys to his van, Davie has refused to divulge to colleagues why he’s always been known in the workplace as Duke.
He swore he’d keep that a closely guarded secret until the day he retired, when workmates gathered for his presentation and the long-awaited revelation about the reason behind his nickname.
“It all started when I joined when I was 18,” he explained. “Back then, the Royal Mail didn’t supply you with footwear, so I came in with boots on. They weren’t really cowboy boots. Or at least I didn’t think so.
“My boss at the time nicknamed me Duke, because of John Wayne, and it stuck.
“They’ve all been trying to find out for years why they call me Duke, and I just kept saying: ‘I’ll tell you when I retire’.”
Davie now plans to spend more time with wife Agnes and his four grandchildren.
As well as going on walks with dog, Milo, he has also pledged to finally learn to play golf.
Among those to give Duke a warm send off were the residents of Loanend, who decorated their doors with balloons and banners, showered him with cards and gifts, and posted good wishes on Facebook.
Anne Haveron wrote: “David has been our postman for 17 years and what a so wonderful man who is always helpful and couldn’t do enough to help you. I hope he has a long and happy retirement.”
Elizabeth Stevenson posted: “Good luck. Long life and happiness in your retirement. Well done, Mr Postie.”
Carol Patton said: “Happy retirement, Davie. Such a genuinely nice guy. Loanend Cottages will miss you.”
Lorraine Kinnen posted: “Happy Retirement, Davie! Our Loanend Postman! Been a pleasure lovely man. We’ve shared many a story and you’ve listened to my woes on several occasions. You’ve even had a bacon sandwich on your rounds. We will miss you!”