AddThis SmartLayers

Retirement for editor who began life in newspapers as a delivery boy

Axholme Herald editor Ron Shipley has retired after a working life dominated by newspapers.

Ron, who recently celebrated his 65th birthday, started out as a newspaper delivery boy, and worked as an apprentice compositor and Linotype operator working with hot metal before taking over the editor’s chair.

During a successful career he has dedicated his working years to news gathering and local newspaper production, beginning his association with printing in 1955 when he was 15 and he was taken on as an apprentice compositor and Linotype for Barnes and Breeze Ltd.

But his hands were already marked with printer’s ink from delivering newspapers around his home village of Westwoodside, as he helped his mother with her delivery business.

Ron said: “My mother ran the delivery business from our home for ten years and then my wife Jean took it over and ran it for a further 11 years.

“And even though I was working for the printing firm at that time, I would get up at 5.30am to get a round in before 7am, have my breakfast and then go to work.”

In 1961 Ron became the village correspondent for Haxey and Westwoodside, gathering news items and advertisements.

Ron said: “So I would take ads and news into work with me, set them, print them and then deliver them.”

Later, Ron and two of his colleagues left the company and decided to set up their own newspaper – the Axholme Herald – but before it went into production Mortons of Horncastle came on board and Ron was made editor.

Two years later, in 1991, Grimsby and Scunthorpe Newspapers Ltd bought the paper, with Ron continuing in the role of editor and making a major contribution to the success of the newspaper.

Asked for his hopes for the future of the paper, Ron said: “I hope it will remain loyal to our readers and carry the type of news items they want to read – the traditional sort of news.”

Now Ron is looking forward to a quiet retirement with Jean, his wife of 45 years, who worked on the Herald’s reception desk for several years.

Their daughter Amanda also worked for the paper as an advertisement representative before it was taken over by Grimsby and Scunthorpe Newspapers Ltd.

Ron said: “At one time it really was a family affair with the three of us working there.

“Newspapers have been my entire life and I will certainly miss everyone I see regularly and all my daily little chats with them. I will miss the people who telephone the office and the personalities who call in.”