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Editor calls time on 45-year career

A stalwart local press editor whose career spans 45 years of journalism is retiring.

Noel Cantillon, who has been at the Herts Advertiser for 35 years, with 22 spent as editor, turns 65 this month and will be leaving in March to enjoy retirement.

Noel is just the 12th person to take the editorship of the Herts Advertiser in its 153-year history and oversaw the title’s switch from paid-for to free title in the late 1980s.

But he admits the continual cycle of young trainees coming and going has made life difficult.

“Certainly in the last few years we’ve become a training ground for youngsters but they move on quickly because the pay is bad,” he said.

“It’s understandable but it makes life quite difficult, continually training people, making continuity difficult.”

Originally from Limerick in Ireland, Noel left in the early 1960s as he found it a “smothering society” and “almost a generation behind England”.

During his journalism career he has worked for, among others, the Dunstable Gazette, Hemel Evening Post and the Newham Recorder.

He was involved in breaking the news that Robert Runcie was to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury and managed the Herts Advertiser’s 150th anniversary celebrations in 2005.

He added: “I’m looking forward to being something entirely different and hopefully not being a workaholic, tied to deadlines week after week.

“I don’t know what I’ll be doing after so long in newspapers.

“Part of me wants to get out entirely and part of me wants to keep a hand in.”


WELLWISHER (09/12/2008 13:08:43)
Good luck Noel. You are certainly getting out at the right time.
How right you are about the revolving door of trainees.
There is so much shallow reporting and bad writing on weekly and morning (are there any evenings left?) papers now because even bright and keen young things can’t put stories into context without spending a few years “on the patch”.
Whatever happened to the old “district reporter” of my time up north who knew his or her stuff?
There is too much shovelling out hundreds of press releases now because the paper doesn’t have enough staff to research stories well.
Enjoy, Noel. There really is life beyond filling holes between ads.