Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Oh The Wonderful Paper Round Of Yore!

It would appear that newsagents are struggling to get paperboys (and girls). Reading that article made me get all nostalgic for my old paper round.

Funny thing is I used to hate the bloody thing. Up at silly o'clock in the morning and then out into the cold. Then there was the waiting for Roger, the shopowner, to actually open up. This could be any time from 6.00a.m. until 8.00a.m depending on how drunk he'd gotten the night before. Then we'd spend our time sorting out the papers and magazines before loading them up into extremely heavy bags. Then the battle with the letterboxes, dogs and crazy people would begin.

I started off on Round 4 (the boring round with a house on it that was about a mile away from the rest). Then I got promoted to Round 3, the largest round (hence more Christmas tips), the round with the highest ratio of crazy to sane people. And I finished off my time on Round 2, the retirement round which involved far too many copies of the Daily Express and the Daily Star. Old people need to stop reading smut!

But I was doing the paper round at a time when I was just realising who I was and the hours (Round 3 was VERY large... used to take an hour on a weekday and 2 hours on Saturday and Sunday) I spent doing the round allowed me to have some really nice "me time". And the fact the Sixth Former (the subject of my unrequited affections at the time) lived on my round made it even more interesting.

I remember every single person on my round had their own preferences for delivery. Some expected you to open their unlocked front door and throw the paper in. Some expected you to use magic and fit the Sunday Times through their keyhole letterbox without taking it apart. One, described by the guy I took the round off of as "The Cowboy" due to his habit of wearing a cowboy hat even when in his dressing gown, used to always meet me at his door. I think he must have waited for me all morning, every morning.

The sad fact was, I really didn't need the money (I was 13 and I never really wanted much). My parents had signed me up to give me some "responsibility". As soon as I'd get paid every Saturday I'd have spent all my money on magazines before I'd even left the shop. Roger must have loved me.

Those were good times. Day dreaming my way through the morning, free to drive crazy on the roads as there wasn't any traffic that early. Bliss.


  1. I used to deliver advertisements. I have both good and bad memories about it. But it's quite a worry less job, that is good!

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