A postman who has served the Barrow Gurney area for decades has officially been granted the freedom of the village.

Roy Horlick, who started assisting his mother with the Christmas post at age 10 before becoming a fulltime postman in 1983, retired on December 1.

During his four-decade tenure, Horlick has come to know his deliveries' recipients personally, acting as a helping hand whenever necessary.

His assistance has ranged from rescuing villagers to delivering a newborn lamb along with the morning post.

To honour his exceptional service, the villagers hailed him as a Freeman of Barrow Gurney - a first in the village's history, in a ceremony held at the bustling village hall.

Mr Horlick, expressing his deep connection with the villagers, said: "For me being a postman was not just about delivering the post but being part of that community, knowing the people and the area and being there to help when needed."

North Somerset Times: Roy Horlick, who became a postman in 1983, retired on December 1

Local residents Lizzie and Si Fosbury lauded Horlick's contribution, saying: "Could you possibly find a more interesting postie than Roy?

"Photographer, musician, woodworker, composer, historian.

"How he's had time to post letters, check our parcels are in a safe place, and act as a security guard we have no idea."

The newly retired postman has plans to dig into his family history and spend more time on his woodworking and music hobbies.

As a Freeman, Horlick has certain duties and rights that include visiting the village at least once a month, driving his geese through the village and enjoying a free pint from the landlord of the Ich Dien every year.