Harpenden to get new newspaper seller

A WEEKEND newspaper pitch in the High Street of Harpenden is being resurrected after the retirement of a much-loved vendor about eight months ago.

Richard Murdoch, who lives in the town and owns Hertfordshire News Delivery, hopes his firm can emulate “Harpenden institution” Joe Thrussell, who retired after 40 years of selling Sunday rags come rain or shine on the High Street.

Joe left the pitch, outside the head office of Charles Wilson Engineers Limited, after suffering ill health. Some of Joe’s customers contacted the Herts Advertiser earlier this year to praise his efforts, saying they would miss a man they considered a local “institution.”

Richard said that he had recently spoken with the managing director of Charles Wilson, who had agreed to a newspaper stall being set up at weekends outside the premises, starting this month.

While Richard will initially sell the Sunday papers and the Herts Advertiser, he hopes the pitch can eventually also be used to sell Saturday editions. He said: “The institution is back.”

Richard had tried setting up a pitch elsewhere in Harpenden but a lot of people recommended he try selling papers outside Charles Wilson, as there was a loyal customer base and, just as importantly, a canopy.