Could Colin be Britain’s oldest paper boy at 85?

Colin Peaker delivering a copy of the Express on his paper round.
Colin Peaker delivering a copy of the Express on his paper round.

The man thought to be Britain’s oldest paper boy has turned 85.

Colin Peaker has been delivering newspapers around the city’s streets for 23 years and is a familiar face for people on his paper round for Preens Newsagents, on Saville Street.

Unveiling of new plaque in Castrop Rauxwell Square to celebrate Wakefield's links with the German town. Norman Hazel, Coun Keith Rhodes, Karl Josef Krekeler, Colin Peaker, Denise Jeffery, Coun Betty Rhodes.

Unveiling of new plaque in Castrop Rauxwell Square to celebrate Wakefield's links with the German town. Norman Hazel, Coun Keith Rhodes, Karl Josef Krekeler, Colin Peaker, Denise Jeffery, Coun Betty Rhodes.

Former barber Mr Peaker wakes up with the birds and arrives at the shop each morning before 6am to await delivery of the day’s papers.

And his 85th birthday on June 10 was no different.

Mr Peaker said: ”It was just a normal day. If we get the papers delivered on time I can be away from here about 6.20am and back home for about 7.45am.

“I said I was just going to do the job for a month and see if I liked it. Now it’s 23 years later.

“It’s good exercise and you see a lot of people and find out what’s going on. That’s the main thing. And it keeps my knees going.”

Mr Peaker started work as a barber in 1947 and ran a shop in the city up until his retirement in 1993.

He said: “I was the cheapest barber. I only charged 50p when I retired.”

He previously represented the old ward of Northgate on the city council between 1964 and 1974, when it became Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council.

During his time as a councillor, he helped run a foreign exchange programme between Wakefield and Castrop-Rauxel in Germany.

He said: “There was an agreement that 25 of them would come over here for two weeks and we’d send 25 children to Germany, so for a month they would be living together.”

Mr Peaker has been travelling to the German city for half a century and hopes to visit again later this year.

He said: “I’ve been over there 48 times. This is the 50th year.”

And he has no plans to quit his job as a paperboy any time soon.

Mr Peaker added: “I’ll keep going as long as I can, although these days a lot of people are more inclined towards reading the news online, and that’s affected newspaper sales.”

Brian Smith, owner of Preens, said: “Colin is very well-liked. He knows everybody and is a real authority on this area.”

Link to Germany city since 1949:

Colin Peaker also is well-known in the German city of Castrop-Rauxel, which has been twinned with Wakefield since 1949.

The square opposite County Hall is named after the former mining city in the eastern part of the Ruhr Area.

Hundreds of children travelled between the two city’s as part of a foreign exchange programme.

In 2009 Mr Peaker was present when a plaque was unveiled in Castrop-Rauxel Square to celebrate 60 years of the twinning.