Being a Paper Boy

The bag was really heavy and on Sundays I needed two, which were even heavier!

When I was thirteen, I wanted to earn some money to help out at home, my brother Howard was an apprentice fitter at Wallsend Slipway Shipyard by this time and was bringing in money.  I got a job delivering papers for Mr Dunn who had taken over the shop from Mr Peart.  My pal Ken Hamblin did the same, he got the village round and I got East Howdon.  It meant getting up really early, 7.00am or so, to have time to get back home for some breakfast and then walk to Ralph Gardner school.  In the evening we had to get straight back home, have a quick tea, then get up to the shop to start your evening round.

Ken was a very good runner and could do his round in under 30 minutes, but I had a good walk before I could even get started and it was a big round.  The bag was really heavy and on Sundays I needed two bags, which were even heavier.  I think I started on 10 shillings (50p) then later 15 shillings (75p) and I earned every penny, especially in the cold wet weather, but I stuck it out for a couple of years.

Christmas was a good time for us and nearly everyone gave you a bob (1/- or 10p).  Some gave us two bob (2/- or 20p) or even half a crown (2/6 or 25p).  You felt like a millionaire!  I gave some to my younger brother Walter and it meant we could all buy presents for our parents, using our own money.

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