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Citizen 'ambassador' left teaching for 37 years of journalism

A “brilliant ambassador” for The Citizen in Gloucester has been given a fond farewell after almost 37 years of service.

John Lovell, (61), who most recently edited the Bygones section, joined the paper in 1969 as a sub-editor after working as a reporter in his native Somerset.

He had completed four years of teacher training to work in Cheltenham, but decided to return to journalism.

His retirement follows a hip replacement, from which he is now recovering.

John said: “I’m just nosy. I think I was born that way. I’d have made just an average teacher.

“I got to that point in my life when I could take either road and I chose to come to The Citizen.”

He rose to chief sub-editor, a role he held for 11 years, and then to production editor, a role he had for another 11 years.

He plans to spend his time continuing his work with St Catharine’s Church and with Gloucester Rotary. He has been a member of the group for the past 15 years and has produced their award-winning newsletter.

He said: “I do miss The Citizen. The people are lovely and I couldn’t have worked with a nicer bunch of people if I had handpicked them. I miss the camaraderie.

“I have been very fortunate. I think I have done a good job and I have worked very hard and feel I have made a difference.”

Citizen editor Ian Mean said: “John has been a brilliant ambassador for The Citizen over 30 years.

“He is an absolute pillar of the community and one of the most informed people in Gloucester about its history and heritage.

“He always had time for young journalists making their way and we’ll miss his wise counsel very much.”