Dedicated Beryl Walker received some good news yesterday after she was officially hailed the world’s oldest papergirl – aged 88.
Sprightly Beryl started her round 35 years ago – and has so far cycled 40,000 miles and delivered 500,000 newspapers.
Every day at the crack of dawn the evergreen octogenarian jumps on her trusty old bike to begin her deliveries to 100 homes.
During her career Beryl, of Gloucester, has cycled the equivalent mileage of riding from the UK to Australia and back – TWICE.
Yesterday Guinness World Records officially recognised her incredible achievement.
A surprising Beryl said it was just another day on the bike when she was given the news of her new world record.
“I finished my first round hours ago,” she said.
“It’s good they’ve done something at last, it’s taken them two years.
“It makes a change. I can’t wait for the rest of the family to see it.”
Beryl, is seven years older than the oldest papergirl listed in the Guinness Book of World Records – Joyce Pugh, 81, from Shropshire.
And Beryl’s boss Neil Williams, manager at Keelings Newsagents in Westgate Street, Gloucester, says she has never let him down.
“You can set your watch by Beryl,” he said.
“She is so reliable, I’m not sure I cold get the same level of loyalty and reliability from a youngster.
“Beryl is never late, but on the odd occasion she is like when she was presented with her award, I get customers ringing to check she is ok. Beryl is very popular, a real character.”
Her son David, 58, said it can be a worry seeing his mum disappear off around Gloucester on her bike in the early hours.
“We’re all very proud of her,” he said.
“Mum goes out in all hours and in all weathers, nothing seems to bother her.
“She is on her third bike, the first was a 1940s model and her second one was stolen. This latest model has served her well.
“She used to even go out at night to deliver the evening edition of The Citizen but thankfully that doesn’t happen now.”
Beyrl delivers around 100 papers a day to homes and businesses – and one of her customers is local Tory MP Richard Graham.
He said: “Beryl’s enthusiasm for the job is an example to us all. She may be the oldest female paper deliverer in the country but you wouldn’t know it. In rain or shine Beryl’s always up early to do her job.”
Mark McKinley, from the Guinness Book of World Records, said: “Beryl is fantastic, absolutely brilliant. Stories like her’s is what makes the Guinness World Records so good.
“It is made up of so many different characters with so many different talents and abilities.”
Incredibly Beryl isn’t the even the oldest newspaper deliverer in the town.
That title goes to World War II veteran Jack Mews, 92 – the UK’s oldest paper boy.