Paper boy Bob, 75, does his final round

GOLDERS Green's most popular paper boy hung up his delivery bag this week – at the grand old age of 75

Vicky Bottrill

GOLDERS Green's most popular paper boy hung up his delivery bag this week - at the grand old age of 75.

Bob Beard has been delivering papers along Finchley Road for 15 years but is now being forced to quit because of his arthritic knees.

After being a milkman in Golders Green for more than 30 years, he loved the area so much he decided to get a paper round there.

But the rainy weather and increasingly heavy papers have been taking their toll.

Mr Beard said: "I didn't want to retire but my body has told me it's time. There's so much pressure and I'm a slow walker. Everyone wants their paper yesterday and I have to make two trips at the weekend because of all the extra inserts."

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He will be sorely missed by his boss, Vic Patel, owner of Scott's Newsagents. "I haven't seen a worker like him," he said. "He's very particular - always making sure the papers are put through the letterbox properly and wrapping them in plastic bags if it's raining."

Mr Patel added that he would need to look for a new alarm clock as well as a new paper boy.

"He phones me up every morning at 5.15 to make sure I'm awake. The battery in Bob's electric buggy has gone too so if it's raining I need to go and pick him up," he said.

Although glad not to have to go out in the rain any more, Mr Beard said he would really miss the friendly locals, especially the women, who he often stops to chat with.

"I'm a bit of a ladies' man," he joked. Mr Beard also had a word of courting advice for the young men. "In my day, we didn't smoke and we didn't drink. If we wanted to meet ladies then we went dancing," he said.

Mr Beard says he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Sue and eight grandchildren.

"I won't be able to sleep in though," he said.

"During the war they put the clocks back two hours and afterwards I had a milk round so I've always been an early riser. I'll still be busy but I'll miss nagging Vic too of course."

editorial@hamhigh.co.uk

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