A columnist who made Alastair Cooke look like a flash in the pan by comparison has made it into the Guinness Book of Records after 71 years of filing copy for the Heywood Advertiser.
Jack Ingham has retired at the age of 90, to be told that he is officially the world’s longest-serving newspaper columnist.
Editor Margaret Cheesbrough doubted that anyone in Britain could match Jack’s achievement when he decided to call it a day in February (through ill health), after contributing more than 7,000 pieces to the Greater Manchester-based weekly.
She submitted a claim to Guinness World Records to have Jack recognised as the UK’s longest-serving newspaper columnist. After scouring records from all over the world, Guinness awarded him the title.
Cheesbrough said: “When we nominated Jack we were sure no-one could match the feat in Britain.
“But what a bonus to have him named as the longest serving in the world. We are thrilled to have been associated with Jack for so long.”
Ingham, who wrote under the pen name White Eagle, submitted a weekly column on Scouts and Scouting, only missing sending his 500-word piece while fighting in the Second World War.
He fought in Egypt and Italy, but was wounded and invalided out of the army. He then continued his column, writing his regular pieces as he recovered at home in Heywood.
Ingham unfailingly delivered his column in immaculate handwriting every Monday morning.
He filed them away in a pile of printed scrapbooks which he kept at home.
Alastair Cooke, who died aged 95 earlier this year, held the record for the longest-running series of broadcast reports, at 58 years.
By Dominic Ponsford