‘Post lady’ of Woodhouse dies aged 92

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A POPULAR pensioner known as the ‘post lady of Woodhouse’ has died aged 92.

Valerie Taylor delivered letters and parcels around the Sheffield suburb for more than 30 years, and was a well-known figure among local residents.

She handled the area’s post until she was 60, sorting the mail herself and walking the streets with a heavy bag up until retirement.

She was born in the now-demolished Navar Yard in Woodhouse and initially worked the rounds with her sister Christine Russell, who passed away 16 years ago aged 69.

“Everyone called her the post lady – that’s what everybody knew her as,” said her niece Julie Fairfax, 55.

“It was all on foot then, there were no vans like there are now. Letters were sorted in the post office in Woodhouse, in those days they used to sort their own mail and then deliver it.

“She carried all the letters in a bag on her back and she often used to have to come back for the parcels.”

Valerie married her husband Percy aged 19.

Percy, a miner who later became a steelworker, died in 1982.

The couple had one son, Jeffrey, who died young aged 35.

Valerie – a regular at her local pub, The Brunswick Hotel – also lived on Market Street in Woodhouse, as well as Tilsford Road, before spending her last years in the nearby Chatsworth Grange Nursing Home.

She worked as a cleaner after her retirement.

“She was a very bubbly lady, very happy and smiley,” said Julie.

“She didn’t let anything get her down and absolutely loved her job.

“She loved to walk and loved everything about it.

“She would have carried on doing it but the General Post Office at that time insisted the retirement age was 60.”

Julie added: “She loved to chat. I remember at Christmas time she used to come home armed with gifts that the people on her rounds had bought for her. I think she was missed.

“For years afterwards people used to stop me in the street and say, ‘How’s the post lady?’.”

Valerie died in the nursing home from bronchial pneumonia, and her funeral was held at Woodhouse Salvation Army Hall.