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Tributes paid after former deputy editor dies at 83

A former deputy editor who worked in newspapers for nearly 50 years has died at the age of 83.

John Ridgeway, left, was deputy editor of the Gazette and Herald in North Yorkshire as part of his career working at a number of newspapers including The Star in Sheffield, where he was a sub-editor, and The Press in York.

He started his career in journalism at the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express after hearing that they paid £1 more than his employers at a nearby quarry, and went on to also work for titles in Wolverhampton, Boston, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Tributes have been paid to John by his former colleagues in a story by The Star after he died in Doncaster Royal Infirmary after a long illness.

Charles Gardner, who later became editor of the Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express, said: “It was a privilege to have known him. I know it’s a cliché but he was a gentle giant of a man with a heart of gold and a lovely sense of humour.

“He was meticulous too, as I discovered when I asked him to proof read a book I had written. I’m sure other colleagues would confirm he was a true professional of the old school.”

And Selby-based photographer Eric Foster, who worked with John at the Gazette and Herald, described him as a “great chap”.

John worked at The Star for many years before his retirement as a revise sub-editor and while doing relief work there later on, he broke his hip in a bad fall, which caused problems that he never fully recovered from.

He was a devout Christian and worked for St Luke’s Church in South Elmsall in recent years.

John leaves his wife of 54 years Sybil, children David and Judith, twin granddaughters Joanne and Rachel and great-granddaughter Kayleigh.

His funeral will take place at noon on 5 September at The Grove in South Kirkby and donations in lieu of flowers will go to a boys’ home in the Philippines.


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  • August 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    John was a patient, kindly and encouraging sub-editor when I was a trainee in Doncaster. Yes, he was ‘old school’ in the best possible way. Thanks, John, for all your help.

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  • August 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    A smashing bloke. Beneath the grumpy ‘old school’ exterior was a really nice man, willing to help anyone. He was revise sub at The Star when I first moved onto the subs desk and he corrected more than a couple of ‘afternoon errors’ from downtablers like myself who had spent a little too long in the Wig and Pen.

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