POPULAR Beaulieu postman David Bursey has died at the age of 62.
A familiar face on his round for more than 12 years, David never felt his job was just delivering the post and would also check in on his friends each day.
His partner Clare Wood recalled that despite starting work at 5am, David would often be out on his round until the late afternoon after stopping to chat to so many people.
She said: “He always had a box of dog biscuits in his van, so he was very popular with all the dogs of village as well.”
Born in Pennington in 1957, David attended the local primary school before going on to study at Priestlands. His mother died when he was 11 and his father had remarried and moved away, so he was raised by his grandparents, growing up in Bays Road.
He joined the Post Office at Lymington as a telegram boy in 1974 and soon became a postman undertaking rounds in Lymington, Pennington, East End, Sway and Hordle.
David was able to take his driving licence and motorcycle licence through the Post Office – leading to his longstanding passion for motorbikes and motor sports.
David worked night shifts in the Lymington sorting office for many years but when this was outsourced around 12 years ago he began his round at Beaulieu.
Clare said: “He absolutely loved doing his Beaulieu round – he loved all the people he saw every day and they clearly loved David.
“We have had so many messages to say how kind he was and how much he will be missed.”
David’s round included the Beaulieu Estate and its houses. Beaulieu Estate agent Rachel Pearson said: “David was a very important part of life around the museum and was known by everyone.
“He had an absolute heart of gold and when lockdown began and he had to shield, we all missed him dreadfully as he used to stop to chat to everyone.
“Our dog Rosie always let us know he was arriving because she would get up from wherever she was and go to greet him.
“Because David knew everyone so well he was absolutely brilliant at his job. The post never went missing and even with very limited information he would make sure that the letters always got to their intended destination.”
In his spare time David was well known for his work as a roadie for the discos at Pennington Club, the Sportsman’s Arms and Wellworthy Club, and this was the way that he met his partner Clare Woods around 21 years ago.
Soon after becoming a couple David became dad to her two children Tom (24) and Alix (28), and later became a doting grandfather to Poppy (3).
When the children were younger the family spent many happy camping holidays in Cornwall.
David continued working as a postman until the lockdown in March when he was advised to shield because he suffered with COPD. After a fall at home in June, he was admitted to hospital and subsequently diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
Clare said the family received “incredible” support from visiting carers and Oakhaven Hospice, which enabled David to remain at home until he passed away on 29th September.
His funeral will take place next week and many of his friends and colleagues have donated to Oakhaven Hospice in his memory.