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End of an era as 'Mr Citizen' retires

The Citizen in Gloucester has said a fond farewell to deputy editor Bev Ward after his distinguished career in journalism spanning more than four decades.

Bev, (64), has been the engine behind the scenes at The Citizen for 27 years.

He has looked after seven editors in that time – turning their good ideas into news pages and making sure the technical side of the newspaper runs like clockwork.

His editors included the late Ken Clapham and Colin Walker, as well as Mike Lowe, now editor of the Bristol Evening Post, Spencer Feeney, editor of the South Wales Evening Post, Hugh Berlyn who now works for the BBC, Graham Glen, editor of the Nottingham Evening Post and the current editor Ian Mean.

  • Bev (centre) with past and present editors Mike Lowe, Ian Mean, Graham Glen and Spencer Feeney
  • For the hundreds of people who have worked with Bev over the years he has been so much more than a work colleague.

    Bev has been a mentor to scores of young reporters and sub-editors over the years.

    Many joined him for a special retirement party at the New County Hotel on Thursday.

    He was presented with a package of golfing equipment and a huge cut-out of himself to keep his family company when he is on the golf course.

    Journalists from across the UK have paid tribute to his professionalism.

    Ian Mean described Bev as a “real gold nugget” while Colin Davison, Gloucestershire Media’s managing director said he was “a terrific journalist”.

    Mike Lowe said: “Bev has to be the finest deputy editor an editor could ever ask for.”

    Bev began his career as a junior reporter with the Mid-Devon Advertiser in 1957 and went on to work at the Weekly Telegraph in Essex and the Western Morning News and the Evening Herald in Plymouth.

    Bev said: “I have been privileged to work with some great people and the last 27 years here at a community newspaper like The Citizen have been fantastic.

    “The people of Gloucestershire are among the best in Britain and it has been a pleasure to be at the heart of this great community.”

  • With the departure of Bev, assistant editor Matt Holmes becomes the paper’s number two, with his new responsibilities including developing commercial opportunities and working more closely with the paper’s Internet division, NEP.

    Design editor Darren Powell becomes Ian Mean’s ‘number three’. He remains in charge of the subs’ desk but will also work closely with advertising planners to ensure “reader value” in editorial space. He will also monitor TV and radio coverage of The Citizen.

    Keith Hursthouse is promoted to deputy design editor, while production manager Jeff Flower is promoted to head of production.