Today we ought to be grateful for the lads and lasses who regularly bring us our papers and magazines, whether it be through the deep snow of a grey, wintry morning, a dark and dismal downpour of rain or the burning heart of a really hot day. No doubt we can recall with much affection the various characters we once knew who used to stand at the same pitch in town for years on end, and for me such folk come to mind especially at the Doncaster Christ Church bus stop as well as in Scunthorpe High Street. It has never been highly paid work and it seems that there is an element of a labour of love about it. Over the years we seem to have had paper boys and girls galore, some sticking the task for just a few days, some a few months, and some going on with it for a year or two. I admire them all and they do a good job. Mind you, as I think back. I do feel that many of the early deliverers were an even hardier breed. Today they do much shorter rounds and perhaps four or five of them will deliver from one village shop, and the whole job is likely to be done and dusted possibly in minutes more than hours. This is the modern trend, but, nevertheless we do very much appreciate the service we receive. At times, in especially severe weather conditions, we are likely to see Mum or Dad fetching their offspring around by car or land rover to get the job done. A bag of newspapers can be a very heavy and awkward encumbrance and certainly the coming of the tabloids was welcomed, but have you felt the weight of just one of those Sunday papers lately and how much of it do you really read? Just imagine a young whipper snapper struggling through snowdrifts with a few dozen papers of that kind of weight, and perhaps that is why some of the Sunday rounds are done by the vendors themselves. Each paper boy or girl is different in approach. One will rush along headlong often trying to cycle right up to the door whilst another will dawdle along, snail like from gate to gate, never quite seeming to work out how to fold the paper for insertion into the letter box. Another loves to stop and read certain bits of sport, pop star news or the cartoon caption. Bless all their hearts - they entertain us too!
I have never thought that much of all the awards and accolades continuously poured out on our various stars of the day. They do a job like all the rest of us, but having said that, I have often thought how nice it would be to try to find a few ways of rewarding all those who so faithfully carry out all the humdrum and menial tasks of service for us.
Next week in Part 38 - Giving Everything a Bottoming!