1. West Country (W)

Postman Dies In Snow

A Somerset postman has died while carrying out his rounds on Exmoor, during freezing temperatures.

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Postman who died in snow, a "quiet, friendly" man and keen sportsman

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:

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."

– School friend, John Atkins

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.

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.

– Ian Fleming, Dulverton Town Council

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.

– Chris Dubery, Dulverton sub-postmaster

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