Post lost for months after postie dies

A BAG containing 500 undelivered letters sat untouched for five months after a local postman died, the EADT can reveal. The items had been left in a “secure pouch box” in Kirby Cross, near Frinton, used by postmen when they have too much to carry around in one go.

James Hore

A BAG containing 500 undelivered letters sat untouched for five months after a local postman died, the EADT can reveal.

The items had been left in a “secure pouch box” in Kirby Cross, near Frinton, used by postmen when they have too much to carry around in one go.

But tragically much-liked postman “Big” Bob Vowles never returned to collect his bag because he collapsed and died in Bushell Way, Frinton, on October 4 while he was doing his round.

Royal Mail bosses said the mix up happened when the staff covering the area had not needed to use the box, so the post went undiscovered until earlier this month.

It was all set to be delivered again yesterday, along with a letter of apology from the Royal Mail.

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Mr Vowles, 54, had delivered post around the Frinton area for the past 20 years and was a well-known character thanks to his fun-loving personality and kindness.

Speaking at the time of his death, his partner of 25 years, Luise Kopat, said he would be remembered for his “happy and smiley demeanour”.

She said he would go the extra mile for customers, especially for elderly residents who he would regularly pick up groceries for.

Customers will now be able to claim compensation, with a possible pay-out of £10 for each delayed letter.

Industry watchdog Post Watch has said it is a very unusual case.

Linda McCord, regional manager for Post Watch, said: “Sometimes there are just circumstances beyond everybody's control.

“I have not heard of this before - there have been situations where post people have kept bags of mail, or dumped them.”

A Royal Mail spokesman said: “When we reopened the box, it was found. It was not being used because it had not been needed. It had been out of use.

“The bag contained several hundred items which are being delivered over the next few days with a letter of apology.”

He said the details about the link to Mr Vowles had not been released out of sensitivity to his family.

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