A TIGHT-KNIT trio of posties who wage an annual battle to see who can last the longest in the biting cold, while wearing shorts, are raising funds to fight cancer in memory of their pal.

Many of us will readily recall the bout of fierce snow and wind which hit the UK in 2018, labelled the Beast from the East.

For postmen Martin Hobbs, Darren Lock and Tony English, the infamous storm was just another brisk winter’s round.

Because the three friends, who cover the area of Great Horkesley, wear shorts no matter the weather.

What started out as a friendly test of their mettle has become an annual charity fundraiser.

Martin, 53, who has worked as a postman for 14 years, said: “It’s something we’ve always done, but it becomes a competition of who can last the longest in shorts.

“We then thought: ‘Hang on a minute, we can make some money for charity out of this’ and we started doing that about six or seven years ago.

“We do get people saying they’ll give us money if we put our trousers on.”

He added: “We do get a positive reaction and a thumbs up from the majority of people.

“When we had the Beast from the East a couple of years ago, we were out in shorts in that.”

The trio have raised more than £3,000 over the past six years for different causes.

After their close friend and fellow postman Colin Walton lost his fight against pancreatic cancer in September at the age of 69, the trio decided to dedicate this year’s fundraiser to him.

Gazette: Martin with his friend Colin WaltonMartin with his friend Colin Walton

Martin said: “It was a shock how quickly he went downhill, he had only been retired for three years and there was still a whole life ahead. He was a very fit 69-year-old.

“He was a very happy chappy guy, with an outgoing personality, he would always have a smile on his face and was the life of the party really - although he couldn’t dance to save his life.”

The three friends are hoping supporters will chip in a few pounds in support of this year’s challenge, with all funds going to Pancreatic Cancer UK.

More than half of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within three months.

To donate to the cause, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/GH-Posties.