Thank you Ted – have a happy retirement!


Ted Ireland’s West London Delivery Centre colleagues gave him a warm-hearted send-off this morning to mark his last shift before retirement after 56 years’ service with Royal Mail and many decades as a union rep.

A Gold CWU badge, a meal for two at the Gordon Ramsey restaurant and a very special cake decorated with the West London Postal Branch banner were among the gifts he received, showing the enormous respect and affection Ted enjoys from all the people he has worked with since starting as a telegram boy way back in 1962.

A few years later, he moved to the old Loftus Road Delivery Office and then worked at Silver Row, which was one of the units that merged into today’s huge WLDC on London’s North Circular Road.

Applause greeted the speeches from union and company representatives, who all paid their tributes – operations manager John Doyle sparking quips about miss-sorts and mistakes with his observation that the biggest musical hit in the year Ted started working for Royal Mail had been the classic Elvis Presley song ‘Return to Sender’.

“I first met Ted about 30 years ago, when he was the union rep at Loftus Road,” John continued, “and I always had the greatest respect for him.”

London divisional rep Mark Palfrey praised Ted for being a “loyal member of the union for over 50 years” and, handing him the London Gold Badge Award, Mark added that he felt it was “a privilege and an honour to come today.”

Branch secretary Ray Dunning presented the official retirement cake and said that the union was “not only about strikes and disputes,” but was also “about being part of a big family.”

Taking his opportunity to respond, Ted talked about his early days as a new telegram boy delivering telegrams in London’s West End and recalled that some of the local working ladies “used to pinch our bums.”

Amid the laughter, he asked: “Who says there are no perks to this job?” but added that “that sort of thing wouldn’t be allowed now.”

Looking back over his career, Ted said that the union and the company had “been good to me and have done me proud.

“I hope I’ve done them proud,” he concluded, to more cheers and applause.