Great Britain

Meet Ronnie, the 78-year-old paper boy for Sheldon's newsagents in Willington

HE may be 78-years-old, but a paper 'boy' has continued with his rounds during Covid-19 lockdown to ensure members of a community still receive their newspapers.

Ronnie Canvin, from Willington, in County Durham, has spent about 20 years delivering papers for the village's Sheldon’s newsagents, owned by Graham Sheldon – and the virus has not stopped him from getting the papers to his customers.

The delivery man said: “I thought I’d make sure that everybody who can’t get out will get a paper one way or another.

“After the papers come, I put them up, I come out and do my two rounds, and I come back home, so I stay self-isolated because I don’t see a soul on the way around.

“I’ll continue on for as long as I can - it gets me out of the house, gives me exercise and keeps me busy.

“I lost my wife Vera nearly three years ago, and instead of moping about I just continued on.”

Mr Canvin was also a loom tuner for about 30 years at two separate carpet stores in Willington.

Due to the commitment he has shown to his paper round during the pandemic, he has become a popular face within the Willington area.

“I’ve had some compliments from people in the community, people thanking me for doing this for the past ten weeks,” he said.

“For the people who are staying inside, I think they’re pleased to get a newspaper so they’ve got something to read because I know what it must be like.

“The people in Willington know me quite well now, and if they want anything extra doing like their paper leaving in a certain place, I just say no problem.

“When I go to drop the papers off now people leave me messages on their bins and doors saying thanks for delivering the papers during this bad time. People seem really happy with what I’m doing.”

Mr Canvin’s 46-year-old daughter, Linda Curl, serves behind the counter in Etheringtons newsagents on Cockton Hill Road, in Bishop Auckland, which is also owned by Mr Sheldon.

Mr Sheldon said: “Ronnie shows a work ethic that is beyond the call of duty.

“He’s a truly lovely guy, and an amazing character.

“He’s just so reliable, dependable and enthusiastic. An absolute top man - he’s an inspiration and a role model.

“He lost his wife a few years ago, and he’s been amazing the way he’s carried on and kept his enthusiasm for life. I can’t say enough praise about him.”

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