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Home town editor retires after four decades

A local press stalwart who rose to become editor of his home town paper has retired after 39 years in the profession.

Malcolm Powell is believed to be the only Kings Lynn-born person to have edited the Lynn News in the title’s 170-year history.

He stepped down last week after ten years as editor and a journalistic career spanning nearly four decades.

Starting as a trainee reporter in the News’ former Purfleet Street offices, in 1970, Malcolm went on to serve as deputy news editor, news editor and deputy editor before taking on the top job in 1999.

In between he also spent a year as deputy editor of the Emap editorial training centre in Peterborough, and seven years as editor of the Newmarket Journal from 1992-99.

Last week he was given a farewell reception at Lynn Town Hall by the borough’s mayor and mayoress, Michael and Gillian Pitcher, as well as leaving presents from his colleagues at the News.

Said Malcolm: “Many things are changing in the newspaper world so this seems like a good time for me to step down while still feeling young enough to look for fresh challenges.

“There have been many things I have enjoyed about my role here, not just the first class journalists I have worked with and had supporting me in the management of the editorial operation.

“I have really enjoyed the training elements of my job over the years and got satisfaction from knowing that countless young reporters I have trained have gone on to greater things and passed their national exams, quite often at the first attempt.

“It was a great honour to be given a civic send-off and I would like to thank the Mayor and his officer Penny Harrison for such a splendid departure.”

During his editorship, Malcolm also became involved in several community activities, serving as president of the West Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the King’s Lynn Town Centre Partnership and a trustee of the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust locally.

He said: “I have also been proud and privileged to either have instigated or be closely involved in a number of charitable projects, large and small, which collectively during my career have helped to raise well over £1m.

“These included £300,000-plus raised in one year for a CAT scanner for Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, £100,000 for a mobile mammography unit, support for the Macmillan unit and providing a helipad at the hospital, a new lifeboat for Hunstanton and the current Special Care Baby Unit at the QEH.”

Malcolm, who the previous week had an operation at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for a detached retina in his right eye, was presented with a glass letter opener featuring the borough crest and a mounted version of the crest by the Mayor.


Newsboy (06/08/2009 18:34:17)
I had the pleasure of working alongside Malcolm Powell at both King’s Lynn and Newmarket and as he used to put it we were two young Lynn yobs turned good. Never ever knew Malcolm to be put off in his pursuit of trying to make sure that “His” Newspapers were the very very best they could be and of course his love for King’s Lynn and it’s people are legendary, as was his sense of humour.
Yet again JP has let another quality person slip from it’s grasp and I am afraid they seem to have completely lost the plot. With no detriment to other colleagues still at Lynn for whom I have a big respect Malcolm will leave a big hole……mark my words JP.
Oh yes while I remember Malcolm does have one big fault, a team from North London.
I wish you well Orville.

Willie (07/08/2009 11:35:37)
I too worked with Malcolm Powell – an excellent journalist – some years back and I wish him well for the future.
However, I also had the pleasure of working with the late Laurie Orviss.
I believe I remember him telling me that, at the start of World War II, he was the youngest editor of the Lynn News.
This came about due to more senior men being “called up”.
Laurie held the post until he too went into the RAF.
I only mention this because Laurie was also King’s Lynn born and bred.