Leverington newsagent Brian Webb celebrates 60 years of being in news industry tomorrow... on his 72nd birthday!

PUBLISHED: 09:37 07 August 2017

Brian Webb with his bicycle, aged 12

Brian Webb with his bicycle, aged 12

Archant

A Leverington man celebrated 60 years in the news trade industry and his 72nd birthday on Saturday.

'Grocery boy' Brian Webb, aged 14, who worked in Bernie Chapman's shop after school and at weekends after doing the morning paper rounds 'Grocery boy' Brian Webb, aged 14, who worked in Bernie Chapman's shop after school and at weekends after doing the morning paper rounds

Brian Webb, now the owner of family newsagent business Webbs of Leverington, first started working as a paper boy In Walton Highway at the age of 12.

Six years later he bought the paper round from Bernie Chapman for £600.

Brian Webb with a copy of the Wisbech Standard. Brian Webb with a copy of the Wisbech Standard.

“It was a lot of money back then,” he said, “probably thousands of pounds nowadays.

“I didn’t really know what I was going to after I left school, and there was a local bakery that was offering £20 a week.”

Brian Webb launched his postal service in 2014. Picture: Steve Williams. Brian Webb launched his postal service in 2014. Picture: Steve Williams.

But when Brian got the offer of taking over the news business, he couldn’t say no.

“I was shocked when I got the offer, and before I gave my answer my grandad gave the go ahead and that was it!.

Brian Webb launched his postal service in 2014. Picture: Steve Williams. Brian Webb launched his postal service in 2014. Picture: Steve Williams.

Since then, he’s quadrupled the number of newspaper calls.

“It had 364 calls back then, but now it’s just snowballed and we’ve got nearly 2,000 customers across 23 villages in and around Wisbech,” he added.

Brian Webb Brian Webb

Another memorable moment from his career was being the newsagent who changed the seat belt law. By going to high court in London, Brian managed to overturn the law, enabling home news deliverers to not have to wear seatbelts.

Now, Brian walks between five and six miles a day, taking around 16,000 steps in a typical day. In March 2014, he ventured into the postal service, and today Webbs handles over 1,000 letters a day.

Brian Webb will celebrate his 72nd birthday tomorrow. Brian Webb will celebrate his 72nd birthday tomorrow.

“Of course I get tired, but you just keep plodding on,” he said.

“I still really enjoy it, though. It keeps you active, too. What’s going to happen in the future I don’t know, but I’ve got no plans to retire just yet.

“My customers have been my friends for all these years, so the thought of not seeing them again through retirement is horrible. I’m walking some six miles a day delivering their newspapers and post, and at 72 I’m lucky enough not to be on any medication whatsoever. Long may it continue.”

“Webbs is a family run business with his business partner Pauline and family members Sharon, Stuart and Stacey all at the helm ‘providing the service required for the local community.

“We also employ eight other staff members and have 12 vehicles on the road. Webbs is regarded as one of the largest independent home news delivery newsagents in the country.”

Pauline said: “It’s a real achievement. He’s gone from being a paper boy at the age of 12 when children were first allowed to deliver newspapers to being where he is today.

“Brian’s been delivering for as long as I have known him – and longer!”

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