Derek James looks back at the days of wait­ing for the ‘Corona’ man

Let's Talk - - Contents -

There’s talk of these drones mak­ing de­liv­er­ies, hov­er­ing over the back gar­den be­fore drop­ping a par­cel on the lawn.

How ridicu­lous. It could never hap­pen ... or could it? I don’t know any more.

And, while I can’t be do­ing with all this buy­ing on­line busi­ness, I have to ad­mit it can work and that I, with a wife who knows her way around the key­board, am a lucky man.

For ex­am­ple, be­cause I tend to print off too many things when I am work­ing the ink keeps run­ning out on our printer. And that’s an­other thing. Why is printer ink so ex­pen­sive? It is a ridicu­lous price. A real rip-off.

Any­way, it’s dif­fi­cult to get the type of ink we need for one rea­son or an­other, and I have spent hours wan­der­ing round shops look­ing for it. Then my wife had a brain­wave, or­dered some on­line at a much cheaper price, and within a cou­ple of days a man knocked on our door with a par­cel. The ink had ar­rived. So it did work after all.

Since then we have had all man­ner of things de­liv­ered to our house – mostly thanks to that com­pany named after a cer­tain river. And now we are on nod­ding terms with the chap who turns up with the parcels, large and small. He cer­tainly works hard.

While I have never at­tempted to or­der any­thing my­self, I do en­joy rip­ping the parcels apart – and then stamp­ing on the big ones. It’s a boy thing.

Talk­ing of be­ing a boy ... the high­light of my week grow­ing up in Diss dur­ing the 1950s and early 60s was the ar­rival of the Corona man on a Satur­day morn­ing. I loved the fizzy drink with such ex­otic flavours.

Of­ten my friend and I would drink the dan­de­lion and bur­dock and then pre­tend to be drunk. Dur­ing the week the milk came to our door (gold top), along with the pa­pers and the bread and the postman.

On Wed­nes­day I would hand over my mum’s shop­ping list at Bales the gro­cers, a shop which had such a lovely smell about it, and the goods would be de­liv­ered on a Fri­day.

And then in the sum­mer, the best of all. Sort of. Bumshies’ ice-cream van would stop out­side our house. Boo­ti­ful Bumshies of Diss – surely the best ice-cream ever pro­duced any­where in the world. Well, that’s what I thought any­way.

Just imag­ine this. You are sit­ting in the gar­den on a warm sum­mer day. A drone hov­ers above your head ... and drops a Bumshies’ ice cream into your hand.

That re­ally would be 21st cen­tury bliss.

Lyng coal­man Philip Brigham load­ing up sacks ready for de­liv­ery in 1992.

A de­liv­ery of milk in Kes­grave, near Ip­swich, in 1966.

De­liv­er­ing the morn­ing pa­per by bi­cy­cle is Mrs C Mead­ows. The East­ern Daily Press is wel­comed by Mrs A Frost at Eus­ton, near Thet­ford, in this lovely pic­ture from our ar­chives dated Septem­ber, 1959.

The post gets through, de­spite a blocked road near North Woot­ton church, in west Nor­folk, in Jan­uary, 1976.

News­pa­per de­liv­er­ies were part of daily life for many house­holds - and here we see the East­ern Daily Press and Nor­wich Evening News pa­pers be­ing dropped off at a newsagents for de­liv­ery.

Joan Driver pre­par­ing a batch of Bumshies’ ice-cream ready to go out on the vans in 1989.

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