Tributes have been paid to a postman who died on Exmoor while completing his rounds in thick snow. He'd been a postman since the late 1980s. It is understood that John Bircham's post van was towed out of a snowdrift by a farmer - he collapsed soon afterwards.
Further tributes have been paid to postman, John Bircham, who died while completing his rounds in and around Dulverton on Saturday in thick snow. It is understood the 57-year-old was towed out of a snowdrift before collapsing.
School friend, John Atkins, secretary and treasurer at Dulverton Town Football Club where Mr Bircham was a prolific striker during the 1970s, described the postman as a keen sportsman and a credit to his community:
– School friend, John Atkins
As a footballer, John was as tough as nails - players used to bounce off him. But he was very gentle. There was never any nastiness in his play. If someone tried to tackle him, he'd just laugh. He was a very skilful player."
Mr Atkins said the club would plan its own tribute to Mr Bircham, whose sons, Wayne and Jamie, both followed their father in playing for the local team. Others also paid tribute.
– Ian Fleming, Dulverton Town Council
He did a lot for the people of this town and the surrounding area. John really did go to great lengths for people, not just with his deliveries," he said. "He was a real family man.
– Chris Dubery, Dulverton sub-postmaster
He was as hard-working a person as you'll ever meet, very dedicated to his collections and to the people of this town. He was a very quiet man, and the customers loved him. He was very considerate towards them, always helping them out. He will be missed.
A Somerset postman has died while carrying out his rounds in freezing temperatures. John Bircham died on Saturday during his collection on Exmoor. Royal Mail confirmed he had been a postman since the late 1980's. Ian Frankum, Royal Mail's delivery and collection manager, said:
– Ian Frankum, Royal Mail manager
It is with great sadness that staff at Dulverton Delivery Office learned of the death of postman John Bircham at the weekend. John was a postman for 25 years and a valued member of staff. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues and our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends at this sad time.