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UK’s longest reigning editor decides it’s time to go

Britain’s longest serving editor is taking “early retirement” after 40 years in the chair.

Drew Cochrane, editor of the Largs & Millport Weekly News, has decided to bring the curtain down on his record-breaking career as a standard-bearer for the regional press.

He feels next month is the perfect time to step aside from the job, coinciding with the 40th anniversary of his appointment

The 61-year-old veteran, who saw in the paper’s centenary 37 years ago and produced a special 7,000th edition in 2012, is to continue as editorial consultant with the company.

Drew, said: “I think that 40 years in the post is a significant landmark and that I should look at putting my energy into other pursuits.

“I was the country’s youngest editor at 22 when I took over the running of the Largs paper in October, 1974 and I have been joking, in recent years, that my ambition was to become the oldest. I’m probably there now.

When his office in the North Ayrshire town of Largs was closed at the end of 2008, he continued his marathon stint as editor from the Ayrshire Weekly Press offices in Ardrossan.

Drew, who is involved in various community organisations, is a former chairman of both the Guild of Editors and Society of Editors in Scotland, and was chairman of the Scottish committee of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

He is only the fifth editor in the 137-year history of the paper, having succeeded the late Mr John J McCreadie who was also long-serving after World War Two.

Drew added: “I don’t intend to put my feet up as I still feel relatively youthful but, like Monty Python which began in 1969, when I entered the world of journalism, I feel it is the right time to take my final bow.

“Whether my parrot has expired is open to question.”

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