AddThis SmartLayers

Former reporter and 'true gentleman' dies

Former Shields Gazette reporter Jim Slater has died aged 96.

Jim started at the Gazette’s former office, in South Shields, as a copy boy aged just 14.

He witnessed the Mill Dam race riots in 1925 and helped to start a campaign fighting to secure South Shields its own football club.

His journalistic talents scored a world exclusive on the birth of a 10oz baby, which was the smallest surviving new born at the time.

It was one of the stories he revisited for a series of articles published in the Gazette in 2006.

In 1961, he left the paper to become one of the country’s first local authority PR officers at Newcastle City Council before retiring in 1976.

At his funeral, in Cleadon near South Shields, Rev Marie Beard said: “Jim was a true gentleman who remained bright and alert until near the very end of his life.

“He was a man of great wisdom whose life was long and well-spent.”

Jim’s son, Peter, reminded the congregation of the retirement wishes his father received from politicians of all political persuasions and from the House of Commons, a measure of the high regard in which he was held.