Paperboy, 80, postpones retirement after being given new electric bike

Megan Baynes

One of Britain’s oldest paperboys has postponed his retirement after being sent an electric bike to help him on his morning rounds.

George Bailey, who distributes newspapers around the village of Headcorn in Kent, said he has been given a “new lease of life” with the e-bike.

The octagenarian first made headlines at the end of January and had been considering hanging up his paperboy sack and retiring from the 2.5-mile loop.

George Bailey 80-year-old paperboy
George Bailey, who is one of the oldest paperboys in the UK, completes his paper round in Maidstone, Kent, on his new Raleigh e-bike, which has been given to him by Evans Cycles to celebrate his 80th birthday (Raleigh/Evans Cycles/PA)

However, British cycling companies Raleigh and Evans Cycles stepped in and offered him a new Raleigh Motus Crossbar E-Bike, which will give him up to 250% of his pedal power, and speeds of up to 15.5mph.

When asked about what this meant to him, Mr Bailey said: “I’m truly thrilled with my new bike.

“After celebrating my 80th birthday I was seriously considering whether it was time to now ‘hang up my boots’ and retire from the paper round.

“Knowing I can now continue doing what I love, with a little help from modern technology, is fantastic, especially on a Raleigh, a brand I’ve always admired growing up.

“I might even still be doing this when I’m 90.”

Previously the trip was taking him around an hour a day and saw him getting up around 6am.

George Bailey 80-year-old paperboy
Mr Bailey picked up the bike from his local Evans Cycles store in Maidstone (Raleigh/Evans Cycles/PA)

David Greenwood, from Evans Cycles, said: “Modern e-bikes open up so many new opportunities for people of all ages.

“Offering a little electrical assistance when needed, they increase enjoyment and ultimately encourage riders to ride more often.

“We recognised what the daily routine of riding meant to George and so were more than happy to help him continue to enjoy the ride.”

Michelle Jakeway, from Raleigh, added: “When we heard George’s story, we felt compelled to give him a little boost.”

When he was 11 years old Mr Bailey picked up a paper round like many other boys his age.

George Bailey 80-year-old paperboy
Mr Bailey with his new bike (Raleigh/Evans Cycles/PA)

But his return to the route as a pensioner puts him in rarefied company as certainly one of the oldest paperboys in the country.

Mr Bailey’s varied life has seen him work as a stockbroker, at manufacturer Unigate for nearly 10 years and on a local golf course.

Last month he celebrated his 80th birthday, an occasion made more special by getting the coronavirus jab just days before.

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