| As soon as he could get about he bought an orange box for a penny, chopped it into firewood, and sold the result for sixpence.
He soon became a schoolboy businessman. He purchased newspaper rounds off other boys who had tired of them, and bought oranges which he sold outside the Co-op factory. Then he started pushing a truck round Rushden, selling bundles of wood and oranges.
Next his mother saved up and bought him a horse and cart, and from then, selling fruit and vegetables and keeping on with his “Evening Telegraph” sales, Freddie never looked back.
In 1938 he motorised his business, buying a van and fitting it with a hand clutch. In 1941, he opened his shop at the corner of Windmill Road, and in 1948 moved into his present premises.
But all the time he kept on with his street sales of evening papers. “I do it because I like it,” he says. “There’s a lot of good-humoured chaff between me and the crowds. If I gave it up I’d miss them and I hope they’d miss me.”
If Mr. Hales cannot go to the Rose and Crown he has been ill once or twice in 27 years his wife goes for him.
“These last few weeks have been the worst weather I’ve ever known,” he says. “But I don’t bother. You see I’ve only one foot to get cold.”
His hobby is trials driving with Rushden Query Motor Club.