Crouch End's 'Paul the Paper' bids farewell to Broadway stall
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Crouch End newspaper seller Paul Saxton is calling time after 42 years in his wooden stall.
"Paul the Paper" is retiring his Broadway cabin on February 28, which he said would be the “hardest day” of his life.
The 71-year-old has run the newspaper stall for seven days a week since 1978, waking at 3.15am and going to bed at 7.30pm.
He took on the stall from his father, prior to which his grandfather was in charge before the Second World War.
Paul told the Ham&High that after more than four decades of service, he is tired and that his body is telling him his time has come.
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“I’ll definitely miss it, I really will,” he said. “I’ll be very sad because the Crouch End customers have been really brilliant.
"They have been genuinely lovely, I can't fault them, I really can't. They've been good to me, not just through Covid but all the years.
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“I still get my old paper boys, they’re in their late 30s now, come back and see me, which I love because it means that I meant something to them.
"I feel really proud and I want to say thank you to everybody, that's all I want to do."
Paul, a big Arsenal fan, has seen Crouch End change over the years but he has managed to keep his stall a constant through thick and thin, come rain or shine.
In 2016 he was the subject of a documentary trailing his work and commitment on the Broadway pavement.
Paul's retirement, outlined in a public letter on his stall and on Facebook, was met with an outpour of tributes, which he said moved him to tears.
Once the stall is shut, Paul said he is looking forward to a new chapter in Doncaster with his wife Nicky. A local fundraiser has been set up to buy the much-loved trader a farewell present.
“I feel very humbled, I really do,” he said.
“It’s going to be the hardest day of my life on that Sunday the 28th – to walk away and know that I'm never going to go back.
“I’ve never done this before. I’ve done it when I’m going on holiday and I go away and I think three weeks holiday, lovely, but I've always gone back.
“This is going to be the time when I walk away from it and never go back.”