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Tributes to former sub who spent 50 years in papers

A former sub-editor who spent 50 years in journalism and met his second wife in a newsroom has died at the age of 74.

John Abbs, left, started out in journalism as a cub reporter at the then Stroud Journal at the age of 16 and went on to work for a number of regional dailies, including the Bristol Evening Post, Western Daily Press, and The Citizen in Gloucester.

He eventually joined the Worcester News as a sub-editor and then worked freelance on various Worcestershire weekly papers, before returning part-time as a sub on the News until his retirement aged 69.

An obituary in the News described him as an “old school newspaperman whose attention to detail, fairness and accuracy were held in high regard in newsrooms.”

John became ill last summer but retained his interest in the newspaper industry and was proofreading pages at home shortly before his death.

While working at The Citizen, John held a number of roles including reporter specialising in business and industry, chief reporter and deputy chief sub editor and features editor.

He was friends with novelist Laurie Lee, author of Cider with Rosie, and named his middle daughter Rosie.

At The Citizen, he met his second wife Beverly, who worked as woman’s page editor, and they moved to Kempsey in Worcester in the 1980s.

John became a volunteer with Worcester Operatic and Dramatic Society Youth Section where he helped backstage and with publicity and the show programmes, after his daughter Lucy became a member.

Business manager of the group Dave Skelton said: “John was a lovely man. He was gentle, kind and free of malice. We will miss him.”

John leaves Beverly, three daughters, Alison, Rosie and Lucy, and two grandchildren, Mia and Lauren.

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  • March 21, 2013 at 11:49 am

    So sorry to read about John’s passing. A lovely, lovely man

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