IT’S been a long shift for one Dunfermline postie as he retires after nearly 50 years on our streets.

John Gallacher has been working with Royal Mail since he was just 18, and now, at 66-years-old, has handed out his final parcels.

“It is an unusual feeling,” he told the Press. “I liked my job but I have found I like not working better!”

And his colleagues organised a fitting send off, with the Dunfermline Athletic season ticket holder receiving a visit from Pars players, women’s team manager Angie Comrie and club legend Jim Leishman.

“I couldn’t believe how good it was,” he said. “I was blown away, I had a little thing prepared to say, but I didn’t know how big it would be!”

John, a carpet-fitter to trade, started delivering post in the city in 1974.

“I did my apprenticeship and thought about doing carpets, if I was ambitious I could have set up a business. But I quite liked the outdoors and fresh air, a couple of my friends were posties, once I started I just took to it, I loved it.

“I turned down manager jobs various times over the years – I just like being outdoors and didn’t want to be stuck in an office – I haven’t regretted it for a minute.

“You spend so much time at work, to enjoy it that much, it’s been a blessing.”

Now he is planning to spend time in his garden and creating his own ‘office space’ to enjoy at home.

Though he says he regrets not taking up golf, which he could have filled his time with after watching the same golfers enjoy Pitreavie Golf Course every morning over the years.

John built up a good relationship with many businesses in Dunfermline, including the Press, delivering mail to around 180 each day around Pitreavie for the last 17 years.

He says his customers appreciated his hard work, inundating him with retirement gifts to go alongside those from his colleagues.

Ex-Dunfermline councillor and fellow postie Garry Haldane added: “On behalf of John's friends and colleagues in Dunfermline delivery office I would like to wish him a very happy and long retirement.

“John has been a good friend and mentor to many posties over the years and has always shown friendship to everyone.

"His words of wisdom and his wee morning talks will be missed by all those who know him. John’s devotion to his job has rubbed off on so many other posties.

"His pleasant and humorous manner has picked others up even when we’ve been standing outside the office in the pouring rain on the picket line.

“We will all have only good memories of John, our number one postie. He is and always will be a true gentleman, I hope his wife Annette still thinks so after a few months of John being under her feet!”

His final shift was not only marked by Pars royalty, but also by a cake made by one of his ex-co-workers in the shape of a Royal Mail van. He also received signed strips from both the women’s team and the men’s with ‘Gallacher 48’ on the back to recognise his 48 years of service.

Royal Mail area manager John Dick said: “It is very unusual nowadays to have someone give so much for so long to one company. His enthusiasm and dedication will be sorely missed by both Royal Mail management team and the staff.

"We wish John all the very best in his well deserved retirement, we will all miss him.”