From errand boy to deputy in 50 years

Wood: all working life at Gazette

After 50 years with the Whitby Gazette, assistant editor Don Wood has retired.

He followed his father into the Gazette printing office on leaving school in 1954. He is the third generation of his family to work for the paper. He joined as an apprentice printer but after a year was invited to join the editorial team. He worked as a junior reporter for four years before being called up for National Service.

After leaving the army he returned to the Gazette and worked as a reporter under Tom Barker and William Slater until 1978, when the newspaper changed hands and Les Heath became the editor of the first tabloid Gazette.

He worked as a sub before becoming deputy editor in 1980, a job he held for 20 years until the Tuesday Whitby Gazette was launched and he became assistant editor and sports editor.

He said: “After all these years it feels a bit strange. I have worked under seven editors, with Hilary Chapman taking over when Les Heath moved to the Scarborough office, followed by Ed Asquith, now group editorial director at Scarborough, Phil Pledger and now Damian Holmes. I started as errand boy but never quite made it to be the editor. I will really miss reporting on local stories, the agricultural shows, going around the villages.”

At his leaving party, he was presented with brushes and easels for his new hobby, oil painting, an engraved watch and specially prepared front and back pages.

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