GREAT-GRANDAD Tom Caldwell is making the he claims the title of Scotland’s oldest ‘paper boy.’

The Elderslie man, who celebrates his 80th birthday today, gets up at the crack of dawn to deliver copies of The Gazette to his fellow villagers.

Tom, who was an engineer by trade, started doing his paper round 12 years ago as he wanted to stay fit once he had taken early retirement following a health scare.

And, despite his not-so-tender age, he has no plans to quit anytime soon.

Tom even covers for paper boys some 70 years his junior if they can’t make their shift.

His proud daughter Mo, 52, said: “He very reluctantly changed his diet after the heart attack and even more reluctantly began physical rehab and, as part of that, started doing the paper round.

“It’s hilarious because he goes into the old folks’ home in Elderslie and delivers the papers to everyone there – even though most of them are younger than him.

“They even tip him at Christmas time and then he comes home and splits the money with his family.”

Tom is well known in Elderslie for building the family home in Woodend Place half a century ago, where he helped to raise children Mo, Susan and Tom junior with his wife Hazel.

Things have become more difficult in recent years, after Hazel suffered a stroke.

However, come rain or shine, the former Scottish Hydro engineer still completes his round from the village’s Post Office six days a week.

Mo said: “When we were growing up, mum did all of the cooking and cleaning and dad would only ever make fish suppers at the weekend.

“Now he’s doing it all and we joke that my mum is known as ‘Her Royal Hazel.’

“Dad is always saying that delivering the papers keeps him fit and his mind active and he used to come back from doing his round and then take my dog out for an hour or two.

“He is always having a laugh and you know he’ll guarantee the papers arrive.”

Mo revealed the great-grandfather-of-one has reluctantly agreed to mark his big birthday surrounded by family after brushing off her plans to go abroad for a special celebration.

She said: “He’s a brilliant grandpa and the kids adore him. He always hosts us at Christmas and he cooks and does everything before taking us to the panto.

“He’s really unique and quite old school in so many ways. Not many people would be able to solve problems so quickly and he’s always prepared to help others.

“I had huge plans about taking us all abroad or something for his birthday but he just wants to go ten-pin bowling with the family.”

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