Royal Mail staff in Limavady are working around the clock to make sure Christmas post reaches thousands of households eagerly awaiting cards and parcels.
There are 25 postmen and women in Limavady.
Sammy Graham, Delivery Manager at Royal Mail in Limavady, said on Wednesday staff would have delivered in the region of 20,000 items, which is 8,000 above the average amount of mail delivered on a normal day.
“We are far far busier than normal. Some staff are asked to work on their days off and some do overtime, but we try to work with just normal staff and have it run as smooth as possible.”
Mr Graham said the Christmas rush started as early as December 3rd with items ordered online.
“We think we’ll have already reached the peak for parcels, and we expect the peak for cards this weekend,” he said.
“Cards are peaks and troughs. We haven’t experienced a lot of cards coming through, but we are geared up for a mountain of cards this weekend. You just don’t know. We hope we have a quiet Christmas Eve, but it never works out that way.”
In Limavady, Mr Graham said they have an additional two vehicles over the busy festive period, in addition to the 14 vehicles they normally have to deal with the increased deliveries.
“The Limavady area is a few short of 10,000 address points, which we deliver to and at this time of the year and we are going to every one of those addresses, every day, except if the weather doesn’t allow us,” said Mr Graham. “Our average this week is 20,000 items a day, so 140,000 a week in Limavady alone.”
Postman, Stephen Patterson, said he gets a great reception delivering Christmas presents and parcels. He covers a huge area and, along the way, receives some Christmas cheer from customers.
“It’s pretty busy,” said Mr Patterson. “You would deliver at least a couple of hundred parcels, and the reception is good. People are happy to see you. People are happy to receive their parcels, and you can get gifts like boxes of chocolates, sweets.”