A weekly news editor who became a journalist after his dad “pestered” him to apply for a job has stepped down after 44 years at his paper.
Brian Gomm had been working as a binman for Tyldesley Council until joining the Leigh Journal in August 1970.
He began his career in journalism on a five-year apprenticeship at the Journal’s Tyldesley offices and remained with the paper and its sister titles ever since.
The 62-year-old, described by his editor as the face of the paper, finally bowed out of the Newsquest-owned title on Friday.
Recalled Brian: “My dad, a manual worker all his life who had his own coal round at the age of 14, wanted a better life for me and when an ad for a junior journalist appeared in the Journal, they pestered me into applying for it.
“I was comfortable on the bin round and they were worried I might stay there.
“I had always enjoyed writing, so I thought it was worth a go and the wage when fully qualified in those days meant you were earning as much as a teacher or a policeman.
“I would like to thank all those people who have been loyal friends and made my life at the Journal easier than it might otherwise have been. I’ve had some great colleagues and met remarkable people whose stories have made the Journal what it is.
Group editor Nicola Priest added: “Brian has been the face of the Leigh Journal for many years and everyone in the area knows him and respects him. He’s a lovely guy and a real character, certainly someone who can keep you entertained with some amazing stories.
“His dedication to the Journal has been phenomenal and we will all miss him and wish him a happy and relaxing retirement.”
Brian, who lives in Tyldesley, plans to spend his retirement tending to his motorbikes, animals and Fergie tractor and ‘doing a bit of wheeling and dealing’.