Star of the streets

Balham postman Clifford Whyte’s customers surprise him with a special delivery

Pictures tell a thousand words they say, but here it’s a video that will give you the full story – and a warm smile too – as we join the tributes to brilliant Balham postman Clifford Whyte, writes Paul Smith.

This video has become a viral hit around Royal Mail colleagues, after it was posted online by his manager.

In the video, which you can watch here, a beaming Clifford can be seen being approached by scores of customers handing over a card full of thanks and well-wishes for the work he has done for them through a challenging 2020.

He’s told: ‘Four or five streets have joined us to give messages to you.’

Clifford responds: ‘I’m overwhelmed – it’s a pleasure looking after all of you going up and down like a yo-yo. It’s a lovely surprise. I’m deeply touched.’

It's not the first time Clifford has hit the headlines. In 2018, Independent named him on its 'happy list of people who make life better for others' and in 2002 he received a BBC Local Heroes Award.

Clifford has been working as a postie in south west London for 32 years and says looking after his customers has always spurred him on.

‘I’ve stayed for so long because I enjoy seeing my customers, meeting people and being outside.

‘It’s a privilege to be a key worker and to look after people and make sure the customers are alright.’

That sentiment is what moved his customers to recognise Clifford, who was visibly touched by the presentation as he went about his daily duty.

‘I was gobsmacked to be honest,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t believe it and to see all those friendly faces for me – wow.

‘It’s wonderful they did that. I hope it’s because they think I have looked after them.

‘I’ve had customers say to me they are low and down and yet when they see me, I make them smile. It brightens up their day. I love to smile, and I love to make sure the customers are alright. I will go that extra mile for them.

‘It’s all about putting your customers first and yourself second.’

18 Jan 2021