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Shake-up as long-serving editor steps down

Three West Yorkshire weeklies are to come under one editor as a long-serving news chief begins her retirement.

The current editions of the Todmorden News and Hebden Bridge Times are Sheila Tordoff’s last after 18 years in the hot seat.

The 60-year-old, left, has passed the baton to current Brighouse Echo editor Stephen Firth, who has now taken the editorship of all three Johnston Press titles.

Looking forward to retirement, Sheila said: “I would like to read a book without feeling guilty, devote more time to the garden and to keeping fit.

“But I will miss my colleagues and all the friends I have made through my job in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge.

“My working life has been hectic and it is time to hand the responsibility to someone else.”

Sheila went to school in the Halifax and York area and later study for a degree with the open university.

Her journalism career began as a trainee with the Halifax Courier and before joining Sheffield daily The Star as a feature writer and sub editor.

Her later career saw her working for Woman’s Own magazine, The Star, in High Wycombe, and as deputy chief sub-editor with the Bucks Free Press.

She returned home to take on the editorship of the Brighouse Echo for five years before embarking on the 18-year spell in charge of the Todmorden News and Hebden Bridge Times.

Stephen, right, said it would be difficult to find a more dedicated journalist than the lady he’s succeeding.

“Sheila has a passion for her work that is rare these days in any profession,” he said.

“Her enthusiasm for getting her teeth into a good story has never diminished and she has broken some important news over a long and successful career.

“She has put her readers first, second and third and has dedicated many long, hard hours to providing them with the quality of newspaper they expect and deserve. I, her colleagues and friends, wish her a long and happy retirement.”


Pru Harison (08/06/2009 07:45:22)
So StephenFirth thinks @Sheila has a passion for her work that is rare these days in any profession’.
I must remember this next time my friend’s doctor husband saves a life or a local para brings a man back from the brink of death in the back of his ambulance.
A very wide sweeping statement that should be backed up with evidence. Utterly arrogant and ridiculous. These editors are not Gods!

Stuart (08/06/2009 08:26:34)
Oh, for goodness’ sake. I don’t know anyone mentioned in the article or worked alongside them, but nowhere in the article does Sheila give the impression that she thinks she is a “God”. Mr Firth was just stressing how hard she has worked. I think that’s fair enough after 18 years! Some posters on here could start an argument in a telephone box. Lighten up.

Dear Prudence (08/06/2009 09:49:36)
He’s paying tribute to a long serving member of staff. Why don’t you scuttle back under whichever stone you crawled from Pru?

hacksallfolks (08/06/2009 10:56:52)
Pru.. you are a prat!

Dandepan (08/06/2009 14:17:53)
Pru Harison mmmm wonder if that’s your real name. Tell me issi t?

pru (08/06/2009 15:29:50)
I wonder if Dandepan is your real name?

Dandepan (09/06/2009 10:31:06)
Well spotted Pru

keith drayton (09/06/2009 13:02:36)
Good luck Sheila – from a Johnston Press editor who has just taken voluntary redundancy after 15 years in the job and 37 in journalism.

james howard (15/06/2009 22:29:30)
To be honest journalists like Sheila Tordoff are a rare breed. In that they give their talents to small town newspapers, not for the rewards, which are minimal and not for the late hours which are many, but because they understand the fundamental importance their roles serve to rural communties in places like the Calder Valley. If management had one sensible bone in its collective body it would insist special people like Sheila wait a little longer before reading that book!