Earning pocket money (1)

I guess I was about 13 when I started delivering newspapers to make some pocket money. The Sunday papers weighed a ton, as they still do, so there were only about thirty or so papers I could manage before having to return to the shop for a second lot. Of course, this was in the days when kids delivered papers. Nowadays you can’t get a newsagent to deliver – kids don’t want to do it and fewer people buy papers. Sometimes you see papers being delivered by someone in a car!

My older brother had a Saturday job delivering meat for a butcher in the St Mary’s area of Southampton. I longed for the job and when my brother moved on I took it over. I delivered meat and collected payment over a fairly wide area, to about a dozen or so houses.

At the end of the three hours or so that it took, I had to reconcile the money I’d collected against the butcher’s bills. This was stressful because sometimes I was short, though I don’t think he made me make up the deficiency!

I carried the meat packages in shopping bags strung over the handlebars of my bike. I hated the wet and windy days. I was paid 10 bob (shillings) – that’s 50p in new money, but deliveries just before Christmas always resulted in very generous tips.

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