Scarborough 81-year-old who's provided Yorkshire Post copies for 47 years makes final delivery

For almost half a century, Mary Frank has provided newspapers in a tiny village, her bungalow on one of its few streets known locally as the spot to pick up copies of The Yorkshire Post and other regional titles.

Mary Frank outside her bungalow in Sawdon. Picture by Richard Ponter.

But tomorrow the 81-year-old will retire after 47 years of delivering papers around Sawdon in the Scarborough district.

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Former postmistress Mary Frank began sorting papers for locals when she took over the village Post Office in her late 20s.

Mary Frank pops a paper into the box outside her home. Picture: Richard Ponter.

Mrs Frank, now a grandmother-of-seven, took it upon herself to do a paper round for those who needed it, dropping publications such as the Post's sister title the Scarborough News through residents' letter boxes.

She said: "I had the Post Office and the chap that did the paper down the village retired from doing them, so he persuaded me to take them on.

"I've been doing it for 47 years."

She added: “I had the Post Office when the bairns were little and I ran it for 32 years until I took early retirement.

“Menzies [distribution firm] at York would deliver the Yorkshire Post and I’d sort them out and put them in the box, the ones in the village I’d deliver myself.”

After suffering three mini strokes, she stepped down as postmistress on doctor's orders in 2000 but continued to order papers village, either dropping them into a box outside the front of the bungalow on Main Street where she's lived since December 1965, or taking them to elderly residents who could not get to her home.

Mrs Frank said: “I’m tired of getting up at seven in the morning and sorting them all out. I shall miss doing it, but I think it’s time to give up now.”

She added: "I just feel that I've done a service and it's time to call an end to it."

Husband Roy, 86, also thinks it is time for her to retire.

Mrs Frank said she thinks locals will miss her service, and has received presents from some who have benefited from her work.

Each week day she has left three copies of The Yorkshire Post in the box for readers, jumping to six copies on Saturdays.

Asked which headlines she remembers from years gone by, Mrs Frank said: "I didn't take an awful lot of notice."

She said that she simply got on with doing the job.

One of the benefits of sorting out the village's papers, though, has been talking to locals and getting to know them.

But Mrs Frank said: "I think I've done my whack."