While many of us will be winding down at work before Christmas, spare a thought for the Fylde coast’s postmen and women as they face their busiest week of the year.
The Gazette followed postie Alister MacCallum on his round yesterday to find out more.
“When I first started here Christmases were daunting but now we’re getting a lot more organised,” admits Alister, a veteran of 15 years at this game.
“It’s an ace time of year, but it’s a lot more challenging.
“You have to realise when you get into the job that Christmas is essential to the business.
“You know you’re not going off to sunny Spain.”
With 573 different addresses to deliver to (the entirety of Whitegate Drive as well as Lightbown Avenue, Honister Avenue, Dunmail Avenue and Newlands Avenue), it’s fortunate for this time of year to find a mild morning on which to shadow him.
But come rain or shine, Alister always works in his shorts - albeit with a pair of cycling leggings underneath to help with the recovery of his knee, which he injured while on his old round last year.
As a result of that slip, he has now become custodian of the Whitegate Drive walk, which is less challenging than the previous routes he used to work in Bispham.
His day begins at 5am at the Abingdon Street callers office, where his route is sorted into smaller letters and packages for him to take on his trolley, and larger parcels to be delivered by van. The route begins in earnest around 10am after plenty of banter exchanged between colleagues, mostly about Alister’s shorts.
Alister, 44, from Cavendish Road, Bispham, said: “It can be quite intimidating when you first start but now it’s just natural haviour.
“Everybody gets on with each other.”
And, while there are plenty of present shaped parcels to be pushed through doors, Alister will be hoping none of them contain contents similar to some of the more interesting items he’s delivered over the years - such as see-through lingerie and other objects which are best left to the imagination.
“I went along to the address but it was quite embarrassing trying to keep a straight face!”