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Journalist’s final piece appears in weekly hours after his death

Bill MitchellA journalist and historian’s last piece has been published in the newspaper where he began his career, hours after his death at the age of 87.

Tributes have been paid to WR Mitchell, known as Bill, who passed away on Wednesday night.

His final piece was printed in yesterday’s edition of the Craven Herald, which he joined aged 15 and where he remained a regular contributor.

Prolific author Bill also produced more than 170 books on the Yorkshire Dales in his life, and worked on Dalesman magazine for 40 years.

Born in Skipton, Yorkshire, in 1928, Bill joined the Herald straight from school as a junior reporter.

However, his career was interrupted when he undertook national service in the Royal Navy.

After its resumption, Dalesman founder Harry Scott asked Bill to join the magazine, which he did in 1948.

Three years later he took on the editorship of its sister title Cumbria, and from 1968 he edited Dalesman.

On his retirement in 1986, Yorkshire Television produced a documentary about his life narrated by playwright Alan Bennett.

Bill also contributed a regular column to the Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Letter from the Dales, as well as his work for the Herald. He was awarded the MBE for services to journalism in 1996.

Current Dalesman editor Adrian Braddy, formerly of the Teesdale Mercury and Craven Herald, posted on Twitter yesterday: “Deeply saddened to learn of the death last night of Bill Mitchell, a true Yorkshire legend and a genuinely lovely man.”