They came from all points of the compass and from all walks of life to the first-ever reunion of past and present staff of the Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard, at the Thames Head Inn near Cirencester.
Among the 70-plus present from Wales, Devon, Harrogate, Ipswich, the Peak District and nearer to home, were ex-WGS sub-editors, reporters, photographers, compositors, editors, advertising and administrative staff.
Also present was a TV reporter, a female production editor from Rugby World magazine, an anguished intellectual and two small children who behaved immaculately during the evening. Elizabeth (three) and Thomas (six months) are the children of Ginny and Andrew Hendry, who met while working for the Standard and now live and work in Ipswich.
Newspaper men whose names will be recognised by many readers included former WGS editor John Cox, ex-advertising manager and his deputy Ted Hughes and Kevin Roseblade, ex-Malmesbury and Tetbury reporter and Badminton Horse Trials press officer Jim Gilmore, photographers Paul Stallard and Paul Nicholls, and Carole Taylor, former production editor. Among those unable to be present was an ex-sub-editor who is now a vicar and a reporter who changed career to become a fireman in Stroud.
The man with the longest Standard pedigree was retired printer Lew Evans, who was born in South Cerney, and started work with the paper in 1939. He retired in 1990 from the then Bailey Newspaper Group’s headquarters in Dursley where he now lives.
The evening was organised by former advertising representative Jean Lockey and ex-editor Anne Hayes and was sponsored by Newscom, represented by general manager Philip Smith, and the former chairman of the Bailey Newspaper Group, Peter Bailey.
Mrs Hayes said: “It was a great evening, the noise nearly raised the roof. Many had come a great distance to be present and it was marvellous to meet again so many colleagues with whom we had worked while at the Standard. Despite requests for another reunion next year, we think 2005 might be more like it!”
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