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March 08, 2008


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Bill Taylor

My memory may be shaky, too, but £1.50 seems like a lot for a paper round back in the early '60s. I'm betting your first paypacket from Shildon shops was only about a fiver. When I started at Doggarts in 1964, they paid me £4/17/6. It was a big deal when it went up to £5.


Have to agree with Bill, our kid earned the princely sum of 15/- in 1964 delivering for Ken Stocks which went up to 17/6 when he did the Viewer and Radio Times on a Thursday. He delivered his last paper Aug 23rd 1965 before joining the Royal Navy, I meanwhile, already a sailor since Oct '63, when I earned 15/- a week was just leaving my first ship, still a junior, earning £2 or £3 a week.

Colin Randall

It does seem a lot given the comments from David and Bill but that is how I remember it. It is possible that £1.50 was the total earned from seven days a week, rather than just from the Mon-Sat round or the Sunday alone. Trouble is, i worked for Dowson's and the one in Church Street at different times, which may help to confuse the memory.

Pete Sixsmith

Tut,tut Colin. Dowson's was at the bottom of Main Street not Church Street. Peter Dowson is still about having owned a sweet shop in Church Street for many years. He has barely altered and looks well. I worked for Jimmy Wilson who had the contract for the Sunday papers. He became George Reynolds' stepfather and moved out of his shop to allow George to build the Dolphin Coffee Bar and the internationally renowned night spot, the GR Club.

Colin Randall

Teacher leave them streets alone. Read my comment again Pete: Dowson's AND the one in Church St. I had paper rounds with both. If only Jimmy Wilson did Sundays - which, dodgy memory or not, I feel sure is wrong - I must have worked for him, too, because I remember how much I used to laugh at people who took the Sunday Post

Bill Taylor

Marketing genius, though, you must admit -- to take such a narrowly-focused paper and give it a best-selling profile all over Britain. I believe it's still going strong, under the slogan: "A thoroughly decent paper."
I knew someone on the Evening Gazette in my earliest newspaper days who had worked briefly at the Post. When he resigned -- I believe all that decency had been getting to him -- the editor looked at him in utter bafflement and said: "But where will you go?"

Pete Sixsmith

Apologies for misreading. The one in Church Street is now a greengrocers. Jimmy Wilson took all the Sunday papers and then distributed them to the few shops that opened on Sunday - that would be Stocks in Alma Road and Dowsons in Main Street. Jimmy employed loads of paper boys of which I was one. He foolishly trusted us to collect the money in from doorsteps, ledges and from the people who got the papers.Sometimes it could be smuggled into pockets to pay for away trips to Stoke, Blackburn et al. Jimmy was a lovely bloke who always reminded me of Mole in Wind in the Willows.
He paid me the princely sum of £1.0s.0d. for a round which I started at 6.30, did a third of it, went home for breakfast, read all the Sunderland reports and the Scottish details in the Sunday Post and then completed the round by 12.30.Up until four or five years ago, Mike Hynes was still delivering papers on a Sunday morning. In the 60's he was a God amongst paper boys because he had two prams and could push both of them at the same time. Where are the heroes now?

Bill Taylor

There's a book in there, Pete: "A God Amongst Paper Boys." And what a leading character.
Get writing!

Robin Corbett aka. (Dodgy)

I worked for Peter Dowson in 1967. I had the longest round covering the Jubilee Estate so I recieved an extra half crown consideration. Total payment 17/6. I recall Peter drove a new Vauxhall Cresta (nice car in those days). I later graduated to a meat round with Studham's buthers.

Bill Taylor

Isn't the butchering trade what you also moved into, Colin?

Peter Stephenson

I knew a Colin Randall from Shildon, whose dad ran Old Shildon Club. I thought he’d gone off to be the thinking man’s Mike Amos.

Michael Hynes and his prams: what a pussy. As an employee of Fergusons of Cheapside I did a Saturday night round - 21 quire and 10 pinks in two bags on the New Estate. I've still got the strap marks. Took a 60% pay cut to start the works at £2 4s 6d though.

Nice to see you've still got a pulse Colin.

Colin Randall

Pete: completely chuffed to see your name there. I was thinking of you recently when Bill Taylor posted something, here or at one of my 456 other sites, recalling someone he didn't identify but who had a brilliant way of discouraging the twits who wanted to go into the toilet behind the stage at the Castle folk club in Bishop and make more noise than the artists.

"You're a good turn but you're on ower long."
That was your phrase, I think, and it was backed up with an appropriate sign of your disapproval!

There's an e-mail link somewhere here in case you want to follow up this exchange. I'd love to hear what you've been doing in the last 30-odd years


Started "the shops" in March/April 63 on approx £2.10/- a week.
Was a tea-boy in the main office. At 7:30am (on the dot) made tea and coffee for about 50 men & women. They all had their very own cups & saucers and biscuits, or mugs for the men and God help you if you got it wrong!!! [wouldn't drink it out of the wrong cup...had to be made all a fresh] Then at 8:30am After washing/drying the "pots" It was off to collect the post from Shildon railway station and bring it back (a 4 mile round trip) and sort it before delivering to all the offices / managers around the "works" (another 5 mile yomp if I remember right) Before that though, and more important, tea & coffee for the office wallers at 9 am (on the dot)
Then at 10am there was a parcel delivery (go to railway station, another 4 mile, and collect the parcel post) Sort it...deliver it (another 5 mile trek)
Then over Lunch Time, I was a telephone operator... while the Telephonist (a very important person so he told me) was on his 1 hour dinner break, but only after I made tea and coffee again for about 30 or so office workers [some of them went home for lunch]. The afternoons were a little less hectic..just more tea and coffee and finish at 4 20pm. Then cycle home to Bishop Auckland.
I was also doing a paper round at B/A. on an evening, for, I think, 2d a doz. Yeah right..every 12 Dispatch/Pink made 2d profit.(less than 1p in real money) I could only sell from south of the office up to and including B.A.G.Hospital. If I remember right. I had to buy the papers up front and any left over I got to keep? I was in direct competition with the likes of Funky Trueman and Laurence. Would I ever make it BIG? nahh! no way.
Went on to serve an apprenticeship at the shops and at 21 was made redundent along with another 30 or so

Hello to P.S. (King Willy Lad) I once worked with U...and your Dad (a smashing bloke..a true Gentleman) When I started Eaton's in 69 u were there too only to leave and join the Navy? me thinks?

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