Norman Adams: 'Wordsmith of extraordinary range'

The funeral is being held in Aberdeen today of Norman Adams, the well-known Aberdeen-born journalist and author, who has died aged 74, from cancer.

He was working, almost up to his death, on his latest book on body-snatchers and scripts for the Commando magazines – published by the Dundee-based DC Thomson group.

Paying tribute to Adams, fellow Scottish Daily Express journalist Ninian Reid, who collaborated with him on a number of books and film scripts, said: “All his working life, Norman was a wordsmith of extraordinary range and talent.

“The thread of Norman’s literacy legacy – and it’s a formidable one – could be woven round two predominant but far from exclusive themes: body-snatching and the unsettling presence of ghosts, down through the cob-webbed centuries.

‘Much of Norman’s huge talent, for flawless and engaging writing, was influenced by masters of the craft of journalism, who have long since parted company with us but who may well be gathering to welcome Norman’s returned to their heavenly domain.”

Adams began his career in journalism at the Aberdeen office of DC Thomson, where a respect for accuracy and getting the facts right was instilled in him by his mentor, the kenspeckle and legendary boss of the Aberdeen newsdesk – Charlie Easton.

Those qualities were further impressed upon him by the redoubtable Adam Borthwick, when he later joined the Aberdeen office of the Scottish Daily Express.

He also worked also for the Daily Record and spent a year in what is now Zimbabwe, in the mid-1960s, with The Rhodesia Herald.

After being made redundant at the Scottish Daily Express, he and two former colleagues, Ernie Wight and Donald Smith, formed a successful news and PR agency – Aberdeen News and PR Services.

He was later also editor for three years of the Nroth East-based Leopard Magazine and, for more than 20 years, was an associate of the Aberdeen public relations consultancy, Logik Image Management.

And he collaborated with his step-son, Mark Forbes, in producing several short films that have been screened at UK film festivals.

Adams married Edith Garrow and they had two sons: Norman, a photographer with Aberdeen City Council; Kenneth, a freelance journalist; and a daughter, Eleanor, who lives with her family in Houston, Texas.

After Edith died, Norman married Moira Forbes and they made their home at Auchattie, a hamlet near Banchory in Kincardineshire.

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