Is 66-year-old Ian the oldest paper boy in Sussex?
'I must be one of the oldest paper boys around.'
These are the words of Ian Wilson. He turns 67 next week and just this morning he completed another of his daily paper rounds through Lindfield.
Ian lost his job at Sainsburys in 2012, aged 62, and decided he was too young to retire.
Instead, he applied for a position as paper boy with Martins, in Lindfield, and is almost five years into his role.
He spoke to the Mid Sussex Times and said: “Everyday I get up early and head off on my paper round at about 6am.
“The round takes me about an hour and a half to complete and is more than two miles long.
“At 66, it is great exercise for me as many of the roads in Lindfield are particularly hilly.”
Ian balances his paper boy responsibilities with being a lollipop man for the schools in Lindfield and Cuckfield.
In the past five years, he says he has built up a good relationship with his customers.
He added: “Many of the customers are extremely generous. At Christmas they often give me a donation and some houses even get me a present.
“I suppose I have got to know a few people on my route throughout the years but due to the time, most people are still tucked up in bed.
“People are probably a bit nicer to me because of my age. “It is a shame that less children are out delivering papers but not many parents seem so keen to send their children out alone these days which is understandable.”
After all this time, Ian believes he has got his head around the route but admits he still makes a few ‘senior mistakes’.
He added: “There was one man who I delivered two additions of the Times to rather than one on more than occasion.
“He came running out of his house after me and told me of my mistake. “I apologised because I am somewhat of a perfectionist and blamed it on my ability to make senior mistakes.
“He was very accepting of it and just laughed about it. “Other times I have delivered the wrong paper but most customers are able to laugh about it afterwards.
“It’s all good fun.”
Despite his enjoyment for the job, Ian intends to stand down from his duty in July this year.
He said: “I think I will stand down at the end of the summer term this year, around July 22.
“I have been getting up at about 4am to do my paper round for five years. Add this to my role as a lollipop man and I am left with no time for myself.
“I want to find the perfect balance between working too much and working too little.
“I am a member of the Lindfield bowls club and would like to spend my mornings doing that during the summer.
“I will keep up my role as a lollipop man.”