After joining the Post Office in 1982, Keith Hurst, a postman for the villages Barrowden, South Luffenham and Wakerly will finally say farewell at the end of the month.
More than 100 residents, family and friends all attended a surprise tea party on Sunday at Barrowden Village Hall to say goodbye to the retiring and popular postie.
The party had been organised by his daughter Vicky Binley after three months of secret planning.
Vicky said how hard it was to keep it a secret.
She added: “I was worried he would be told by someone in the villages.”
Keith was very surprised as he beliveed he was on his way to his daughter’s for dinner after picking up his grandson Harry Binley at the hall.
It was not until he reached the hall and saw the banner he had any idea of what was going on.
Having done the job for 32 years Keith, who lives in Oakham, said: “I was overwhelmed by the surprise and would like to thank everyone who made the day so special.
“I’m going to miss all the people on my rounds.”
Keith is planning to make the most of his retirement and says he’ll now be able to enjoy a more active social life since he won’t have to wake up at 4am in the morning. He also plans to spend more time concentrating on DIY - a hobby of his.
He said he’s not going to miss the days when he would get soaked from the rain.
At the party Keith was presented with a significant collection from the villagers, which he’s going to put towards going travelling.
He was also presented with a cake of a postman and his van, made by one of the many locals who attended, as well as a handmade card featuring a letterbox and stamps.
One of the residents, Norman Bonnor, gave a speech, describing Keith as “the happy postman because he always greeted you with a smile”.
Among those at the party were Keith’s wife Wendy, his two daughters Tracy Hurst and Vicki Binley and her children Charlie and Harry.