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PUBLISHED: 21:49 16 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:12 03 March 2010

YOU'VE heard of the singing postman - now meet Ipswich's very own pair of freezing postmen!

For most people, braving the cold, damp, December mornings while fully clothed is bad enough.

By MARK BULSTRODE

mark.bulstrode@eveningstar.co.uk>

YOU'VE heard of the singing postman – now meet Ipswich's very own pair of freezing postmen!

For most people, braving the cold, damp, December mornings while fully clothed is bad enough.

But Paul Eley and Irvin Flaherty are displaying no short-age of true grit as they defy the miserable weather by doing their rounds bare legged.

The pair, who work at the Royal Mail sorting office, in Princes Street, are currently delivering a smile to people's faces about town as they continue their friendly rivalry to find out who will be the first to revert to warmer clothing.

The stout-hearted posties started wearing shorts in February and continued the trend throughout the summer months.

Mr Eley, 37, of Honneysuckle Gardens, Ipswich, said: "We were wearing them in the summer and just continued. A lot of the customers have said have said we won't go through with it but I'm not giving in.

"You do get a lot of comments and the old dears quite like it. It's the highlight of their day I think!"

His pal, Mr Flaherty, 44, of Specklewood Close, Ipswich, said: "You get looks all of the time. People just stand there open mouthed and cars beep their horns as they go past. I think people think we're mad but it's a bit of fun."

The pair have developed a keen rivalry over the last few weeks to see who could go the longest without relenting and resorting to trousers.

But as the shortest day approaches, Mr Flaherty, who delivers in the east of Ipswich town centre, decided enough was enough and this week decided to ditch his shorts for two days.

"It has been really cold this week, he said. "When the minus ten chill factor kicks in and you kind of think twice about it. I only wore trousers for two days though and I won't wear them again – although it may be a bit different if it starts snowing!"

Mr Eley, who delivers in Ipswich town centre, has so far managed to brave the cold and has no intention of changing his ways.

"I bought my trousers in one day but I didn't wear them, he said. "As soon as I found out about Irvin wearing trousers I was giving him stick. He came into the office in shorts but then he must have sneaked out in trousers."

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