Pat Hudson - Former mainstay of The St Ives Times & Echo's typesetting department

Born on
St Patrick’s Day in 1917, Henry Thomas Hudson was always known as
‘Pat’. For some 40 years, Pat Hudson was the mainstay of The St Ives
Times & Echo’s typesetting department. He had founded the St Ives
Youth Club, was a devoted family man, a keen gardener and a fanatical
supporter of his home football club, West Ham.

A Londoner from
Canning Town, West Ham, Pat was apprentice to the printing trade and a
journeyman with Lamson Paragon, an international corporation, which had
a printing works and bindery at Canning and trained its printers in
conjunction with the London College of Printing. A gifted and inventive
compositor of movable type, he graduated to operate linotype machines.

Pat’s
first printing job in St Ives was with W & J Jacobs, the printers
of The Western Echo, in Fore Street. It came as a bit of a shock to
Pat, who described the experience as like ‘going back to Caxton’s day’.
Jacobs lacked a linotype machine and The Western Echo was still handset
with movable type.

Pat began his long association with The St
Ives Times first as a relief linotype operator then, with the papers
merging into The St Ives Times & Echo in 1957, a second linotype
machine was purchased to take advantage of the company now having two
skilled operators.

During the latter half of the 1950s, the 60s
and into the early 1970s, Pat and his colleague, Times & Echo
foreman Frank Stevens, tended to every aspect of the newspaper’s
typesetting, including the care and training of the firm’s apprentices.

In
the early 1970s, Frank left for The Cornishman, while Pat found himself
facing a technological revolution. All over the country, ‘hot metal’
compositors were finding themselves made redundant first as
photo-setting and then computer-based systems arrived. Inhis
retirement, Pat continued to work part-time, smoothing the Echo’s path
into the new technologies.

However, Pat will be best remembered as one of the town’s outstanding citizens.

Responding,
in 1957, to a Country Youth Service call for volunteer leaders, he
founded the St Ives Youth Club, for which he worked tirelessly for some
23 years. His service was readily recognised and he received a BEM for
his youth work.

Independently honoured by St Ives, he was awarded
the town plaque with a civic dinner held in his honour. On this
occasion, the Mayor of St Ives (the late)n Cllr Alan Harvey said he
believed that – were St Ives still a borough – Pat would have earned
its freedom.

Pat’s other great love, apart from hisfamily and his garden, was football.

Holidays
often involved a trip to watch West Ham play at home and on one recent
occasion, following a brief medical ’emergency’, legend has it that he
refused to let the paramedics take him to hospital for a check-up,
rather than miss the game!

Those who worked with Pat, learning
the lore and tricks of the printing trade from him, will always feel
privileged to have worked with him, while he will be fondly remembered
by those generations of St Ives youth he steered into adulthood through
the club.

Pat leaves his wife Jessie, children Michael, Sally, Steven and Caroline, and six grandchildren.

Toni Carver, editor, The St Ives Times & Echo

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