AddThis SmartLayers

Former editor calls time on 50 years of journalism

Half a century of journalism and editing comes to an end today when a stalwart of the local press retires.

David Wynne-Jones, chief sub-editor of the Newbury Weekly News, is calling time on a career which has taken in many corners of the UK and even Asia.

In deference to his career many of his former employers, including the North Wales Weekly News, Folkestone Herald and Oxford Times are carrying tribute pieces over the next week.

Looking back over 50 years of service, he told HTFP: “One of my biggest stories was a mining disaster in North Wales. It was in the Flintshire coal fields where people were trapped in the 1950s.

“Most of my career has been on the sub-editing and editing side and I’m glad I made the switch. I eventually realised that if you wanted to be an editor you had to go through the newsroom.

“I started with the North Wales Weekly News at 15 as a copy runner for the sports editor covering local football teams.

“I’d have to run to a phone box while he stayed and covered the match. As soon as I left school at 16 I was taken on the staff.”

David, who turns 66 next month, added: “I’m going travelling for a ‘gap year’ and then I hope to do some freelancing as I already do some golf writing for specialist magazines to keep my hand in. I’ll probably do some gardening too.”

From the North Wales Weekly News David had a spell with the St Helen’s Reporter and then a return home as sports editor of the North Wales Chronicle.

In 1965 he took his first sub-editing job with the Chester Chronicle Group from where he went to the Liverpool Daily Post and Oxford Mail and Times Group.

David continued to climb the career ladder when in 1975 he became deputy editor of Darlington daily the Evening Despatch, which was swiftly followed by his first editorship with Folkestone Herald and South Kent Gazette.

From there he moved to Hertfordshire as editor of the Watford Observer during which time he launched the broadsheet free title the St Albans Observer.

The house-moving didn’t stop there though as in 1987 David moved to Singapore to be editorial consultant on the Straits Times and returned to the UK three years later as deputy editor of the Oxford Mail.

From Oxford he became editor and publisher of the Witney Gazette and Bicester Advertiser, and after taking redundancy, joined the Newbury Weekly News as chief sub-editor in 1999.


Denise Barkley (30/01/2009 10:26:01)
A great guy and excellent journalist, a true professional, a fair boss and a good mate, they don’t make them like DWJ any more. We will all miss you.xx

john francis (30/01/2009 13:07:09)
All the best David, glad to see you’re still smiling widely (even if your body shape has altered to the same state!) after all these years – thanks for the good times 30 years ago in Folkestone, my first proper editor and a great example.

John Gaisford (30/01/2009 13:28:16)
David – I liked the bit about the gardening! Just remember the winger that supplied most of your goals in the 60’s. Talk about a poacher, Jimmy Greaves had nothing you.
Having known you for over 40 years, both at work and play, not forgetting the snooker tonight, I wish you a happy retirement. Gazzer