A Word In Your Ear - June 4, 2015

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A recent change of editorship on your Gazette prompted memories of some previous editors.

Jon Rhodes (just departed) did a valiant job, while Gillian Parkinson (now in charge) is a great professional too.

However, who could compare with our editor-in-chief when I first reported here in the late 70s?

Sir Harold Grime was a legend, a paragon of community and staff relations whose articles are still enjoyed by readers.

Though elderly by then and only working half days, Sir Harold welcomed most of us personally. I was never sure if his funny handshake was Masonic or arthritic.

One Christmas our national union called us out on strike, a shame as Sir Harold usually gave us a week’s extra pay then. It was snowing too!

Sir Harold arrived in his chauffeured Humber Snipe, wearing Fedora hat and spats, then greeted us politely at the door. Later he sent us down a tray of hot soup, with chairs - “for the lady pickets”.

Our editor proper into the 80s was also avuncular - but more relaxed.

When you went to seek his advice, Brian usually had his feet up on the desk. You had to vie for his attention with horse racing on the telly.

Working on daily newspapers was easier going then, though we could pull out all stops when needed.

One editor, Richard, came from weekly papers and famously remarked to his sub-editors: “You mean you do all that? Every day!”

Also there was Robin, England’s youngest ever daily editor.

He hauled us through computerisation and made inspiring speeches (including saying there were two seven o’clocks in the working day).

After his first address to staff, the man in charge of our car park asked, “You’re always first in and say you can lead us to a great new future, but why can’t you park between the white lines?”

A lesson in leadership perhaps.

* For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.