Netti makes headlines of her own
RICHARD PARR In more than 30 years of her newspaper delivery round Annette Hill has faced all sorts of weather conditions, including rain, hail snow and storms.But she has come through and got through with a determination not to let down her appreciative customers on her rural round in North Norfolk.
In more than 30 years of her newspaper delivery round Annette Hill has faced all sorts of weather conditions, including rain, hail, snow and storms.
But she has come through with a determination not to let down her appreciative customers on her rural round in north Norfolk.
But tomorrow she will load up her last bundle of newspapers, including the EDP and its sister publication, the Fakenham & Wells Times, into her van and make her final delivery before she retires after 34 years of delivering the news in a 33-mile radius of Wells.
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Over the years, 65-year-old Annette, or Netti as she is more commonly known, has become more than just the lady who delivers the papers - she has become their friend and helper.
"I know my customers as friends after all these years and I have changed light bulbs, rounded up sheep, rounded up horses and found lost dogs. With some of my older customers I am often the only person they see since my last visit so I like to have a chat with them even if it means being five minutes late for the next customer," she explained.
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In fact, she knows some of her customers so well that she gets invited to their family dos.
At one time she had 160 customers on her rounds but in recent years this has reduced to 65. Most of her customers have been faithful to the same newspaper over the years although Netti recalls that when the Times went tabloid size some people started taking the Telegraph, which is still a broadsheet.
Netti, who lives at Branthill, near Wells, covers many rural communities on her six daily rounds, including Warham, Stiffkey, Cockthorpe and New Holkham.
At one stage she was continuing with her daily round while nursing her late husband, George.
"That took its toll on me," she recalled.
"I have enjoyed my delivery job, firstly with Mr Pechey at Wells and then when the Staithe Street newsagents was acquired by Martins, but I will miss the people. I won't miss having to get up at between 6.30am and 7am in all weathers," she said.
She is looking forward to having more free time and says she has plenty to keep her busy, including taking her dog on regular afternoon walks.