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Ambush planned to celebrate retirement

PUBLISHED: 17:02 07 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:30 03 March 2010

DAVID Mullet will cherish today for the rest of his life.

For the past 40 years he has biked to work along the same route.

In his time he is said to have cycled 53,000 miles but today he was putting on the brakes and retiring from Ipswich store Martin and Newby.

DAVID Mullet will cherish today for the rest of his life.

For the past 40 years he has biked to work along the same route.

In his time he is said to have cycled 53,000 miles but today he was putting on the brakes and retiring from Ipswich store Martin and Newby.

But his big day did not go unnoticed as a crowd of around 50 friends and family gathered along his favoured route to work to mark his retirement.

Balloons, party poppers and banners were all on show as the crowd gathered outside the Lion's Head pub on the corner of St John's Road.

There were tears, smiles, laughter and a lot of kisses as David, known as Spike to friends and family, met up with the party.

He had left his Kemball Road home in Ipswich thinking he was setting out for just a normal day at work.

But his wife of 44 years, Margaret had other ideas and had been arranging the surprise since January.

An emotional and bewildered David said: "I did not expect any of this.

"I told the staff that I just wanted a normal day and to carry on as usual.

"I cried when I saw everyone, I just did not believe it."

David's two children, Rick, 42 and Jo, 39 had taken his six grandchildren on their bikes to meet up with the birthday boy, who is 65 today.

Closely followed by Margaret they accompanied David to work along his usual route – Down St John's Street, into Spring Road, into St Helen's Street, along Rope Walk and over the junction to reach the shop.

David's bike, elaborately decorated with balloons and streamers attracted much attention from other people on their way to work.

When he got to work the shop staff had gathered to give him a send off in style and had even clubbed together to buy him a new bike.

He is manager of the garden and iron mongers department and is well loved by the staff.

To many people he is known as the man who would do anything for anybody.

Annette Crawford is a sales assistant at Martin and Newby. She said: "He is a lovely guy to work for and very jovial.

"He is a very kind man."

His wife Margaret was relieved that she everything had come together so well.

She said: "It is absolutely brilliant that everyone has turned out.

"Everyone knows him – we have even been on holiday in Poole before now and someone has known him.

"He is such a lovely man."

David is very involved with the church and is a lay preacher at the nearby St John's church.

He will be going back to work three days a week but said he has no big plans to do anything special.

He said: "I am just going to take each day as it comes."


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