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Greta clocks up 50 years at the Advertiser

Stories were written by typewriter and sent off by bus to the Advertiser main office at Redhill when Greta Morley started work as a junior reporter in 1954.

She was aged just 17 but rose through the ranks to become editor of the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser 30 years later.

The path to the top job started in an uncertain manner, with Greta becoming involved in the local community – but getting some of the worst jobs.

She said: “Much of my apprenticeship was spent on funeral reporting. This consisted of long lists of mourners and the names of everyone who sent flowers.”

She started at the paper under editor Bill Williams, and said: “He encouraged me to play an active role in the local community while covering events in the town.”

In 1957 Greta decided to move to the bright lights of Fleet Street to work for Northcliffe Newspapers.

But she returned to The Advertiser just two years later where she was given her own section – the Women’s Page.

In the 1970s she was made features editor and in 1987 she succeeded Alf de Araujo as editor, becoming one of the first women editors in the group.

During her time as editor Greta still managed to write the sports pages and, to maintain good relations in the towns, she would challenge local companies to play Advertiser staff at any sport.

Greta said: “It usually provided the paper with the booby prize but won plenty of friends in the local community.”

In 1996 Greta decided to retire – but was persuaded to continue working for the paper on a part-time basis where she launched the Yesteryear pages with fellow long-serving employee Maureen Lewington.

Greta said: “I am still enjoying delving into Mole Valley’s past and will continue to do so until my pen runs dry.

“I am always happy to contribute to the Advertiser’s columns. Every day is different – no two are the same when you work for the local paper.

“I have always enjoyed working at the Advertiser with its friendly, family atmosphere and being part of the local community.

“The history of The Advertiser from its founding in 1887 has been framed by generations of journalists. It is with great pride and a little humbleness I find myself still among them after five decades.”

  • Picture and copy courtesy of the Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser