André Gibbons: editor, Midweek Herald

The editor of East Devon title the Midweek Herald, André Gibbons, died last Friday after fighting cancer for several months.

Gibbons, 55, a journalist all his working life, became editor of the paper in 2003, after spending a year as sub-editor of the Archant SouthWest sister paper The Journal .

He spent 10 years as a reporter on that paper, and was previously on freesheet the Exmouth Herald, frequently covering stories in the town, as well as across the East Devon district.

He covered almost every conceivable type of story, from multiple deaths and road accidents, to local politics and 100th birthday celebrations.

Gibbons was an old-school investigative reporter at heart. The byline “Exclusive by André Gibbons” was a regular feature of The Journal ‘s front page for more than a decade.

When he became editor of the Midweek Herald, Andre, who lived in Tiverton, Mid-Devon, with wife Rita, still had a knack of finding the story behind the story.

Colleagues said the position of editor was one he had coveted for many years, and pride was evident in his face on the day he took the top job on the newspaper.

Rita this week told of her shock at his death, but said he had lived a full and exciting life, as a reporter and as a family man, with a real love for his grandchildren.

Before joining Archant, Gibbons’ reporting career saw him work for news agencies and in Fleet Street on the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Sketch , Daily Mail and Sunday Independent .

He spent time in Australia, working on newspapers there during the Vietnam War.

Outside of work, Gibbons was a real outdoors man, enjoying gardening, walking and sailing.

Tributes to his skill as a journalist were paid by colleagues across Archant SouthWest.

Managing director Bernard Driscoll said: “André believed in fair play and enjoyed fighting on behalf of the little person. Once he got his teeth into a story he would not let go. This often brought him into conflict with authority but, in the end, people could not criticise his professionalism.

“André enjoyed nothing better than picking up a story in a local pub and seeing it through into print.

“His colleagues, many of whom have worked with André for many years, are devastated by his death. We all send our condolences to Rita and his family. He brought colour and humour to the office and we will all miss him.”

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