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Former regional daily news editor dies, aged 71

Tributes have been paid after the death of a respected journalist who worked with a north west daily for more than 30 years.

Melvyn Horrocks, 71, was based at the head office of  The Bolton Evening News, from 1966 to 2000, where for much of the time he was news editor.

Earlier in his career he had a spell working as a reporter at the Bury office of the BEN.

Ian Savage, current editor of what is now The Bolton News, worked alongside “Mel” for more than a decade.

He said: “Mel was an excellent journalist and great human being.

“I had the privilege of working with him as a reporter and then alongside him on the news desk, and his experience and knowledge was invaluable.

“I owe him a great deal and I would not have been editor of my home town newspaper without the support I received from him over the years.

“I know that he mentored many journalists who went on to bigger and better things. He will be sadly missed.”

Melvyn died after a long illness. He leaves his wife Janet and daughters Alison and Jillian.

8 comments

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  • April 16, 2014 at 8:26 am
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    Mel was a great journalist, good fun and he introduced me to the Traveling Wilburys!

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  • April 16, 2014 at 9:53 am
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    Mel was a fantastic journalist and mentor. Above all, he was a great guy. I remember my time working with him with great fondness. RIP.

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  • April 16, 2014 at 10:10 am
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    You get close to someone when you’ve been stuck in a lift with them for a few hours – Cynthia Bateman was on board as well. Long time ago – a late Friday afternoon in about 1960 (we were on day-release at the Manchester College of Commerce). Cynth was convinced we’d be there all weekend. They dug us out eventually – and the future of Northern journalism was saved. There are a lot of con men and chancers in this game. Mel was one of the good guys.

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  • April 16, 2014 at 10:38 am
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    So sad to read this. Worked closely with Mel from the subs side of the operation. A great guy, good journalist, and – unlike me – cool under pressure. RIP

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  • April 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm
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    Dear Mel, a great role model and I owe him such a lot as a reporter on my first daily between 1969 and 1972 and as Local Government Correspondent between 1973 and 1976. He knew how to handle everyone with such laid-back style; follow-ups cut from papers with his biro for early pages the next day and always giving me the chance of cover the usual Friday night murders around Lancashire when the BEN was a great regional evening! He worked every lunch break, only going out once a month to pay his mortgage! A great partner for Harry Mitchell, the news editor and when Mel got the news editor’s job, for Alan Calvert as his deputy. Thank you Mel, you gave me so much and probably never knew it! May you rest in peace, a great journalist.

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  • April 17, 2014 at 5:23 am
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    What a loss to journalism. Loved the man! I’ll take a drink to his memory

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  • April 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm
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    Never anything less than enthusiastic, despite all the long hours he put in on the desk. Mel loved journalism and his team of journalists loved him because he taught us so much through his professionalism, knowledge of what made a story, and his sheer joy of working on a newspaper. He was also a true gentleman of the press.

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  • April 25, 2014 at 9:55 am
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    Mel was an inspiration to all who worked under him during his time on the news desk. Like Sir Alex Ferguson he proved a difficult man to replace and, arguably, one of the worst decisions he made was to step down: he was so loved that it was clear reporters wanted to work for him first and foremost and many left their roles soon after, knowing it was the end of an era. That’s the mark of a brilliant news editor. John Horne, taught so well by Mel, continued his excellent work but when he also left, a gaping hole emerged and the paper is a former shadow of its former, great self today. Rest in Peace Mel. You will never be forgotten and your teaching will live long for decades to come.

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