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Tributes paid to former weekly journalist

Colleagues have been paying tribute following the death of a weekly journalist who spent 30 years at the same paper in two separate stints.

Alan Cairns, who occupied a number of different roles during his time with the Basingstoke Gazette, passed away at his home in Ashurst, near Southampton, earlier this month.

A lifelong Southampton fan, Alan first moved to Basingstoke around 50 years ago, from his home town of Southampton, after getting a job at the paper, then known as the Hants and Berks Gazette.

He left for a public relations role at local paper company Wiggins Teape but later returned to the Gazette as features editor, a position he held until he retired in December 1994.

The 84-year-old leaves behind his wife Anne, his son Glenn, his daughter Linda Reed, and his five grandchildren, Emma, William, Laura, Lewis, and Charlotte.

Doug Crossley, a former Gazette editor, spent 14 years working with Alan at the paper between 1968 and 1982.

He said of him: “He was very friendly and he loved his job. He loved his sports and played football for The Gazette team. He had a great sense of humour, and we were always doing daft things.”

Doug will be among the mourners at the funeral for Mr Cairns, which is being held tomorrow (May 20) at South Stoneham Cemetery at 11.30am, in Southampton.

Son, Glenn, 56, said: “He was a really genuine man. He carried the concerns of the world on his shoulders, and he never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was always ready to help out anyone who needed help.

“He was working there when the first computers were delivered to the offices. He never got the hang of them though – he was working on his typewriter until he retired.”