Eric sounds the ‘last post’ after 33 years

1012109 SSHC eric paterson 'Eric Paterson who is retiring from Cupar Sorting Office after nearly 33 years - at Cupar Sorting Office, Cupar
1012109 SSHC eric paterson 'Eric Paterson who is retiring from Cupar Sorting Office after nearly 33 years - at Cupar Sorting Office, Cupar

A man who has stamped his personality on Cupar’s postal service has retired after 33 years’ service.

Eric Paterson officially retires from the Royal Mail sorting and delivery office next month, but finishing up a few weeks beforehand to enjoy a sunshine-filled holiday in Lanzarote with wife Linda.

Eric left school to work as a mechanic for JBW Smith.

He was there for five years before he joined the RAF regiment which saw him based at Catterick and Wittering.

During his time in the services Eric worked on anti-aircraft Rapier missiles which saw action in Ireland, and later when he was transferred to Limasol in Cyprus, worked on Bofors guns which were tested off the coast of the island.

He also spent some time at the firing range on Benbecula in the Western Isles.

Eric was relocated to Leuchars where he worked until leaving the RAF.

While he was working on a casual basis at Cupar’s Royal Hotel he saw the post office had vacancies and he went to visit the postmaster at the time.

Eric began work as a postman on May 14, 1979 sorting mail and making delivieries across north east Fife.

“It’s a job which has seen a lot of changes, said Eric, “especially in terms of technology and manpower.

“There are so many labour saving devices these days and the way mail is sorted is much more high-tech.

“You used to have to sort out your mail for your walk but now a machine does it for you.”

Eric’s favourite routes were Falkland and Blebo Craigs, but he also became a familiar face across much of the KY14 and KY15 postcode areas.

He was later promoted to what used to be called ‘postman higher grade’ (PHG) and he effectively came to manange the sorting office and all deliveries.

“Things have changed over the years, but I’d like to think that people got a good service from Cupar as I have always tried to go out of my way to help people,” he said.

“I will really miss all the familiar faces and the buzz of this place.”

Eric, who lives in Strathmiglo and has two daughters Suzanne and Lesley, said he plans to spend his retirement playing bowls and golf and looking after his miniature Schnauzer puppy.