Always late from school for the pick up and so I was always racing at 100mph hurdling hedges and fences (made a lot of enemies doing this) and charging through gates and up and down drives and backs.
It started with a dash over the Mulberry path on the bike to Ernest Beards’ the Newsagent ‘tha’s late again lad’. Then stuffing equal numbers of the Yorkshire Evening Post and YE News totalling 150 into the newspaper bag I was off on the round which started at the Savile pit gates and finished at Wood End.
‘Make sure you fasten the gate’
‘If you go over that fence again I’ll report you’
‘Hes alright he won’t bite’
‘You missed us yesterday’
‘The paper was damaged’
Delivering along Church Lane you would occasionally get one of these comments.I can’t forget Harold Charlesworth’s dog, a docile friendly creature – until the paper lad appeared and then it suffered a character change and would frighten the life out of you even with its owner standing there saying ‘she’s alright she won’t hurt you’. Well Harold, I got my own back – you wern’t there and the dog was at my heels, I rolled the paper up tight and tossed it in the air, the dog went for the paper and caught a size eight on its way. We seemed to strike an understanding after that.
I was always delayed at the house with the ancient tree next to Methley Villas where the Misses Campbell lived, they always wanted to talk and it was difficult to rush off. At least their dogs were behind a door gate, then up Little Church Lane and on to the Parish Hall house and the Churchside.
On Thursdays, classified ads meant the total weight was too much to carry and Ernest Beards would drop half the papers off at the Post Office, Mrs Whittingtons – why he didn’t drop ’em off at the top of Woodrow Hill I’ll never know.
Then it was the last lap, The Hollings, Bondfield Terrace, Albert Place, Station Road, Claytons Yard and then Wood End. Poor Dick Lodge, we never carried any spares and so if I’d wrongly issued a paper then one of the houses at the end of the round went without, he said I was always picking on him.
When it came to elections you didn’t need a MORI or Gallup Poll to tell you the voting preferences – The Yorkshire Evening Post readers voted Ratepayer and The YE News readers voted Labour, yes equal numbers on my round. Difference was all those who didn’t get a paper were Labour voters.