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Surprise party celebrates the 70th birthday of Ollie Green, who has been part of The Handyman in Eye for 44 years





A surprise birthday party in the streets of Eye to celebrate one of its local celebrities took place at the start of the month.

People gathered outside The Handyman, in Broad Street, to wish shop manager Ollie Green a happy 70th birthday on June 1.

Mr Green, who was born in Stoke Ash but has lived in Diss for 23 years, has worked in the popular hardware store for 44 years.

Ollie Green with Sally and Bruce Salter and his surprise party guests. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Ollie Green with Sally and Bruce Salter and his surprise party guests. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Mr Green, whose actual birthday was June 6, said: “The shop owner Bruce (Salter) sent me out at lunchtime and when I came back it was all set out outside the shop.

“I reckon we had about 100 people in the end and I have had 85 cards.

“People have said they wanted to do this to show how much I am loved and it really means a lot to me that they feel that way.”

Ollie Green has been part of The Handyman hardware store in Eye for 44 years. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Ollie Green has been part of The Handyman hardware store in Eye for 44 years. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Since he first opened the shop, which was across the street from where it is now, with Alan Thorndyke in the 80s, Mr Green has had four bosses including Mr Salter, the current owner.

In answering why he has been a part of the history of The Handyman for so long, he said: “I just love people and I just can’t wait to get here to see them.

“I come in every day at 7am, as I hate having time off, though I do have two half days and Bruce said at my age he may have to give me another one as well.

“I just love being here and helping people, that is just me.”

Ollie has also become an online superstar by appearing in videos made for the shop which have been watched by tens of thousands of viewers. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Ollie has also become an online superstar by appearing in videos made for the shop which have been watched by tens of thousands of viewers. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Mr Green, who was previously a milkman before working at The Handyman, was honoured in May by Eye Town Council for his long service to the community and on top of being loved by the people of the town, he has become a bit of star online as well.

His videos on The Handyman social media pages, which have seen him don costumes to show people items that the shop is selling, have attracted tens of thousands of viewers.

“I love doing the videos,” he said. “They are such a lot of fun and I have been recognised by so many people for doing those, I appreciate that they like them so much.”

Asked what he would like to say to everyone that came to celebrate his birthday and those that have wished him many happy returns, Mr Green said: “People who gave me cards said they have given them to show the love that I have given them over the years, which is just lovely to hear.

“I think that is why people love coming to The Handyman, not just to see me, but also the personal service and love we give them.

“One of my friends sent me a message when I was given my award which said ‘You bring such happiness and kindness to us all and it is so lovely to see you get the award for your amazing work and acts of kindness’ and that is really wonderful to hear people say that about me.

“I would like to thank all of the people who have sent me birthday wishes, cards, money, liked the videos I am in and came to celebrate my birthday. It means the world to have that kind of love and I can’t thank everyone enough.”



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