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Respected former Midlands editor dies aged 95

 A respected former newspaper editor who ran a Midlands weekly and its one-time daily stablemate in the 1960s and 70s has died aged 95.

John Algar, left, was appointed as editor of the Leamington Courier in 1962, before five years later taking its now-defunct sister daily the Leamington Morning News under his wing as editor-in-chief.

He remained as editor of both titles until 1979 before retiring three years later.

John died at his home in Upton-on-Severn, Worcestershire, are the age of 95.

Born in May 1918, John’s started out in journalism on the Bridlington Free Press and was a reporter in Reading before joining the Royal Air Force and serving throughout the war both with the British Expeditionary Force and later in Norway.

Returning to newspapers after the war, his first editorship was with the Sleaford Standard in Lincolnshire in 1951.

Three years later he moved to the Yorkshire Post as a reporter, later returning to the paper as a sub-editor after a brief stint in PR for a fishing industry body.

This led to the editorships of two YP suster weeklies, the Pudsey & Stanningley News and the Horsforth News, both now defunct.

After his move to Warwickshire, he became chairman of the West Midlands regional Guild of British Newspaper Editors as well as serving on its national council and was also chairman of the National Council for the Training of Journalists in the West Midlands.

Martin Lawson, the editor who replaced him in 1979, said: “John Algar  was a very hard act to follow as editor of the Courier, the reputation and standing of which he had with considerable aplomb enhanced during his stewardship.

“Many aspiring journalists, like me, learned the basics of the craft under his skilled tutelage and benefited from his knowledge and experience and, when needed, the necessary edge of steel he brought to the role of editor and mentor.”

John’s funeral will take place at St Gabriel’s, Hanley Swan, Worcestershire, at 11.10am on July 1.

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  • June 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I can only echo Martin’s comments. John was a firm editor in chief and a gentleman who gave me massive support and encouragement when I was editor of the Banbury Guardian. He played a pivotal role in my next career opportunity.

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