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Reporter who took Queen down a mine retires

A journalist who once accompanied the Queen down a tin mine has retired after nearly half a century of local press service.

Colin Gregory, left, joined the Cornish and Devon Post in summer 1962 and went on to work for the Western Morning News, BBC Radio Cornwall and the Truro-based West Briton with which he has spent the past eight years.

The 64-year-old wasn’t long into his career he found himself living and sleeping a big local story.

Five months after joining the Post, he was among passengers snowed in a by a blizzard on a train stuck in Tavistock Station.

It should have been the last train from Plymouth on the old line to Launceston but the passengers had to sleep in the carriages before being dug out by the civil defence the following day.

His career has included major stories such as the Penlee lifeboat disaster in 1980, when 16 people were left dead from two boats, and the closure of Cornwall’s tin mines, including Geevor Mine down which he was the only journalist to accompany the Queen before it shut in 1991.

Other notable interviewees include every Prime Minister since Harold Wilson including Margaret Thatcher on four occasions, Kylie Minogue and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

He has also reported from overseas including tracking down a Truro solicitor who fled to Spain with £2.5m, joining the Muhammad Ali training camp for his ‘Drama in the Bahamas’ fight in 1981 and covering military memorial events in Dunkirk, Normandy and Arnhem.

Colin has written four books about local pubs, history and rugby and is planning a fifth as well as some local and international travel in retirement.

West Briton editor Richard Best said: “When I arrived at the West Briton last summer it quickly became apparent that Colin was the fount of all knowledge when it came to all the big Cornish news stories from the past four decades.

“And the great thing about Colin is that he is extremely generous with his time and knowledge, so he is always keen to share.

“Although we have worked together for less than a year I am genuinely sorry to see him go.

“Colin is a real old-school professional, with the stories to match, and I know that I speak for all of my colleagues when I say he will be greatly missed here in the West Briton newsroom.

“There aren’t enough Colin Gregorys in the world, and we wish him all the best for a long and happy retirement.”


Philip Bowern (19/03/2010 09:44:20)
Colin Gregory was, in my experience, one of the best writers the Western Morning News ever had and an extremely tenacious news reporter – a great combination of talents. Happy retirement, Colin

Barrie Williams (19/03/2010 11:31:02)
Colin Gregory is the epitome of local journalism at its finest – a talented and tenacious reporter, an exceptionally good writer and a man of the very highest integrity.It’s by no means over-the-top to say that he’s a household name in Cornwall. Best wishes, Col. You’ll always be a star.