ONE of the UK's oldest paperboys has been forced to take early retirement after a collision with a car.
Jim English, 70, of Angarrack, has been doing the 11-mile Towans and Connor Downs newspaper round near Hayle six days a week for the past 27 years.
But last Wednesday he was involved in an accident on the Loggan's Moor roundabout while on his way to work at the Ark Newsagents in Hayle.
The septuagenarian was taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital at Truro where staff had to dig gravel out of his face and patch up his crushed ankle and bruised shoulder.
The force of the landing split his helmet and Mr English said: "I would always advise anybody with a bike to wear a helmet because that smash on my head would have been very serious without it."
He was allowed home the same day and is now recovering but was more worried about the other person in the accident.
"I feel sorry for the girl in the car, she wasn't very old," he said.
Mr English, who started doing the round in his forties, had planned to retire next month but the accident meant he had to stop last week.
"I haven't been doing it man and boy like they say – it has been man and old man," he said.
"In a way I would have been a bit upset on my last day so at least I didn't have to suffer that. I was retiring not because I wanted to slow down but because I wanted to speed up."
Mr English, who moved to Angarrack in 1982 and worked for motor companies including Ford and Citroen, bought a racing bike last year and wants to have time to use it. He is itching to get out of his cast and back in the saddle.
Chris Millard, who runs the Ark Newsagents, said he did Mr English's round one last time last Thursday and wrote to all the customers to say it would be finishing.
He added: "It is not feasible for us to get a schoolboy to do it and it is not cost effective for us to do it in the car because it would take us more than an hour."
Mr Millard said his employee would be greatly missed by staff and customers. "People like him don't exist anymore. He loved the job and he was a pleasure to be with."