Sunday 5 January 1986

Now, I must have been out and about earlier in the week as reading this diary entry has jogged my memory of my paper round.  I had a morning round and Monday through Saturday must have delivered no more than 20 newspapers plus the odd periodical.  But then on Sunday, good grief, I must have had forty to carry and of course with it being Sunday, they were much much bigger – and heavier.

I had a racing bike.  It was a Peugeot and it arrived, I remember, from me Mum’s Kays catalogue on Live Aid Day in the summer of 1985.  The wheels on this thing were like razor blades and it went like stink.  It didn’t go so quickly however, with 40 Sunday newspapers slung over me left shoulder.  More to the point, I was probably unsafe, wobbling the mile up the road at the mercy of all sorts of car wielding lunatics.  So on Sundays, me Dad would go down in the car and pick up the newspapers for me.  I still had to walk around and deliver ’em mind.

The lucrative part of the round though, was the collection of people’s paper bills.  I divided my labour up into two parts. First, I would walk round and deliver the papers.  I’d get home around 10 or 10.30, have a cup of coffee and then go out again for another hour collecting the money.  My idea was that they wanted their papers early, but they didn’t want me knocking on the door too early in order to collect the money.

Anyway, this week, I collected the princely sum of £93.47, of which I think my share was 3%.  I’d even written a programme in BASIC on my C64 to tot up the notes and coins and then tell me how much I’d earned.

In the afternoon of this cold and frosty day, we settled down to watch Tony Cottee score the only goal in West Ham’s victory over Charlton at Selhurst Park in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.  It was, I noted, “[the] first televised TV (? football, surely) for yonks.”  It started at 3pm and was on BBC1.

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