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‘Old school journalist’ of five decades dies aged 82

A former editor who became a legend in local newspapers in Manchester has died at the age of 82.

Ernest Buckley, who died last month, enjoyed a career in the industry spanning 50 years.

He worked as a chief reporter at the Sale and Stretford Guardian for almost 20 years before becoming editor of the Altrincham, Hale and Bowdon Guardian.

He then joined the Warrington Guardian where he became editorial controller and director of the Guardian Group.

In an article this week former Guardian reporter Ian Kelly, now a sub-editor at the Echo in Southampton, remembers working for Ernest as a trainee in 1983.

At the time Ernest was second in command and reporters would refer to him as Mr Buckley.

Ian recalls him being ‘gruff’ and ‘blunt’ and at a time when paper and typewriters were used reporters were often reduced to quivering wrecks at the prospect of having their stories roughly thrown back at them with a curt command to rewrite it for whatever reason.

Said Ian: “Yes he was feared, but also greatly respected. He knew the job inside out and passed on good advice which put a great many young reporters on their way to a successful career.

“In terms of newspaper style, Mr Buckley’s word was final.”

Ian added that Ernest had another side to him and recalled a time he was called into his office after writing an opinionated music column.

He added: “I made my way there anxiously, expecting to be on the end of the hairdryer treatment, but instead found myself being given quiet, calm tips about the merits of rather more considered and balanced criticism.

“As with all of Mr Buckley’s good advice, I took it on board and it has served me well down the years.

“Nearly 30 years on, the newspaper industry is a much different place, and men like Ernest Buckley are now mere shadows of the past.

“But there are still plenty of us around who learned a great deal from him and his kind, and owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

“Ernest Buckley was – as a man and as a newspaper man – old school. I mean that very much as a compliment, and I’m sure he would have regarded it as such.”


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  • February 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m staggered he lasted until 82 – he never had a cigar out of his mouth!

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