An of­fi­cial Un­sung Hero has a spe­cial mes­sage for the kind and gen­er­ous read­ers of Let’s Talk ... thank you. Derek James chats to Michael “the post­card man” Porter.

Let's Talk - - CONTENTS -

Michael Porter ‘the post­card man’ is a true un­sung hero

It is such a sim­ple way of help­ing oth­ers – hand­ing over your pic­ture post­cards – and it has now raised the grand to­tal of ex­actly £113,447.36, which goes to sup­port the won­der­ful work of the Nor­folk Deaf Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety.

In more re­cent times it has been the read­ers of Let’s Talk who have jumped at the chance of help­ing deaf chil­dren by do­nat­ing their cards to Michael and Sylvia Porter of Wor­ling­ham, near Bec­cles.

“I just want to thank them for their sup­port. They are re­ally help­ful. Peo­ple are so good,” said the man who, with his wife Sylvia, start­ing col­lect­ing and sell­ing cards more than 35 years ago.

Last year dear Sylvia died, but Michael has pledged to carry on fundrais­ing and at the end of 2016 was named an Un­sung Hero of the Year at the Stars of Low­est­oft and Waveney Awards or­gan­ised by our sis­ter news­pa­pers, the East­ern Daily Press and Low­est­oft Jour­nal.

“I was over­whelmed. It means so much to me and is a big trib­ute to Sylvia’s mem­ory,” said Michael.

They were an ex­tra­or­di­nary dou­ble act who de­voted their lives to help­ing oth­ers all over Nor­folk and Suf­folk in a range of dif­fer­ent ways, but they were both well known for their post­card col­lect­ing.

I first wrote about the Porters many years ago and asked for read­ers of the East­ern Even­ing News in Nor­wich to send in their cards. They have been ar­riv­ing ever since and now read­ers of Let’s Talk have climbed aboard and have been hand­ing over their pic­ture post­cards.

“I get calls from all over Nor­folk and Suf­folk from peo­ple who have read about us in Let’s Talk. I love to go to col­lect the cards if I can and meet the peo­ple. They are won­der­ful,” said Michael.

Michael and Sylvia (she died last March) met on a trip to Butlins when they were work­ing at Wil­liam Clowes, the Bec­cles print­ing com­pany. They fell in love and saved £2,600 to buy a bun­ga­low at Wor­ling­ham in the 1960s where they spent all their mar­ried life.

Their in­ter­est in col­lect­ing cards came about when Sylvia’s fa­ther, Edgar Suck­ling of Bec­cles, died

and left her his col­lec­tion. They pro­duced two books fea­tur­ing cards high­light­ing Bec­cles and Bun­gay, which sold out, and they gave all the money they made to lo­cal char­i­ties.

The cou­ple sup­ported many dif­fer­ent char­i­ties be­fore con­cen­trat­ing on their ef­forts on help­ing the work of the Nor­folk Deaf Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety; first to buy phonic ears and now the money is used to buy a range of equip­ment for the so­ci­ety.

And they also be­came post­card ex­perts with cus­tomers all over this coun­try and across the world. “Think of a sub­ject and the chances are we knew some­one who wanted it,” said Michael. From air­craft to wind­mills.

“Fol­low­ing Sylvia’s death I have de­cided to carry on col­lect­ing and sell­ing cards for as long as I can,” said Michael, who is now 79. “She would have wanted me to con­tinue so I am - I hope peo­ple will keep send­ing the cards in,” he added.

And Michael is a man who sends ev­ery penny he makes to the so­ci­ety. Many dif­fer­ent peo­ple help him by do­nat­ing cards and the to­tal raised by sell­ing the cards read­ers of Let’s Talk and the Even­ing News have sent in now stands at £ 25,729.28p.

“Ev­ery penny counts,” says Michael.

So, if you have any cards you would like to do­nate, you can send them to me - that’s Derek James at Let’s Talk, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Nor­wich, NR1 1RE, or call Michael on 01502 714352 and he may be able to col­lect them. And once again ... thank you.

The gen­tle, some­times saucy hu­mour of the post­cards makes them fun to col­lect Michael Porter and his late wife Sylvia raised more than £113,000 for the Nor­folk Deaf Chil­dren’s So­ci­ety.

Michael Porter has been col­lect­ing post­cards for char­ity for many years.

Michael and Sylvia Porter on their wed­ding day.

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