Carlton Colville newsagent making headlines after 50 years of selling news

OR 50 years he has sold and delivered the news.

But now Jim Mitchell is making the headlines himself after marking half a century of working at a family newsagents.

Jim runs Carlton Colville News and Cards in Famona Road, having begun work as a boy in 1962.

His first foray into the world of newspapers and confectionary saw him delivering items for his parents Alec and Joan Mitchell who poured their life savings into setting up AG and JM Mitchells in Poplar Road.

In 1968, the Mitchell family moved the short distance across across Carlton Colville to set up shop in Famona Road where their newsagents has become a part of community life.

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This week, Jim, 65, spent every day getting up at 5.10am to get ready to open his shop to his loyal customers and prepare his 13 newspaper deliverers – just as he had done countless times over the years.

So dedicated is the father-of-two to making sure Carlton Colville News and Cards remains a thriving community hub that he has not had a holiday for 20 years and only takes one day off each year – Christmas Day.

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Among his customers are 200 loyal Journal readers who buy a copy of their favourite paper from him every week and 50 EDP readers everyday.

Jim said that over the last 50 years, the biggest change he had seen was in the sweets the store stocked – with a move from traditional local confectionary, such as Foremans bottled sweets, to mass produced items.

He said: 'It seems people in Britain have always been addicted to sweets, but different sweets at different times.

'Chocolates and sweets are always being re-born with new tastes and different wrappers.

'I do prefer the more traditional sweets – I love hard boiled ones.'

Jim also fondly recalled the time when the shop sold newspapers such as The Daily Sketch, The News Chronicle and The Daily Herald, which became The Sun, and the heyday of broadsheets.

But the advent of the weekend papers, with their many supplements, was not good news for everyone.

'There are too many bits to today's papers. Our paper boys can't get them through letterboxes!' Jim said.

Although the type of sweets, newspapers and magazines stocked have in the store have changed over the years to reflect people's tastes and new technology, Jim says the role of a newsagent has remained the same.

He said: 'They are still an important part of British society. The fabric of society is held together by individuals who serve the community. People just seem to like coming in here for a chat – it is just that kind of shop.'

In another measure of Jim's contribution to the community, he has been chairman of Carlton Colville Parish Council, served on Waveney district and Suffolk county councils, was the eastern regional president of National Federation of Retail Newsagents and was honorary secretary of the newspaper charity, Old Ben.

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