Let’s Hear It For The Paperboys! (And Girls!)

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Do you have your newspaper delivered?

Newspaper delivery is one service that has continued uninterrupted through the current pandemic, and in all sorts of weather – as delivery boys and girls past and present can testify!

A First Job

Delivering papers is a great first job.

It teaches so much! Responsibility – the papers have to be delivered every day, regardless of how you’re feeling. If you’re unable to do it, you need to work out a Plan B.

Resilience – papers need delivered when there are snowdrifts and puddles as well as when it’s pleasant out.  My oldest son was a paperboy during the winter of 2010; instead of the usual sixty minutes it took him to complete his round, he was out delivering for five hours!

It’s also a job you can do at 13, when few other jobs are available.

It helps you feel part of a community, and can be a good springboard to move on to a Saturday job.

Set Your Alarm

They say that for every yin, there’s a yang – and for many on the paper delivery service, it can be the early starts!

Our family newsagents opened at 4. 45am every day bar Sunday, when it opened at 6am – which counted as a lie-in! Nowadays, children begin their rounds after 7am, finishing by 8am.

A Little Bit Of History

According to tradition, the first paperboy was 10-year-old Barney Flaherty, who signed up in 1833 – an event celebrated every September in the US on National Newspaper Carrier Day.

One hundred years later, The Great Depression led to cash-strapped newspapers, deprived of advertising revenue, recruiting children to deliver directly to the door.

Famous former paperboys include Walt Disney, Tom Cruise, Martin Luther King Jr, and current US President Joe Biden.

Keeping It In The Family

My own children have all been delivery boys and girls, with one still ‘in harness’.

Things change, and instead of going to the newsagents to pick up the papers, they’re now dropped here, for my daughter to deliver.

More people are moving their reading online, but for many of us, ‘the paper’ means paper and ink. And nothing can replace the smell of printed word media.

For now, I’m happy to say the ‘paper bag’ is still in our hall – although that means we’re all still up with the lark!


If you’d like your “People’s Friend” delivered, why not ask your newsagent? It’s easy to arrange. And our subscription offers aim to make taking the “Friend” affordable. More information on that here.

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!