FOR 37 years Hilda Maycock was one of the first people in her village to get a copy of the Oxford Mail – and often one of the last to read it.

74-year-old Mrs Maycock had been too busy delivering copies to other customers in Stanton St John.

Finally, she has hit the headlines – by giving up the newspaper round shared by her family for over a generation.

Until the end of February in 1979 she was receiving deliveries like this one from Oxford Mail driver Albert Savin.

Illness hasn't kept her from her round for over 20 years and only the very worst weather has stopped her pushing the Mail through the villagers' doors.

She said :"I can't get around like I used to."

Her son John, who is 50, who first took over the round when he was 13, has too many work commitments as a postman to continue alone.

The whole family was involved at the start, but Mrs Maycock's husband Ernest died three years before and her three daughters have since moved away.

She said: "We have never charged for delivery. We have done it just for the sake of people in the village. Local papers are important. Everyone seems to want to read it - but new people coming into the village don't have a paper."

She has seen the circulation of the Oxford Mail double in Stanton St John from 25 to 51 and is worried about what will happen when she stops her daily walks.

Mr George Lees, proprietor of the village stores and post office is ready to step in and continue its personal service.

He said: "It's amazing when you see her trudging round at night. We might arrange for soeone to deliver them. Someone has got to walk the dog anyway."