A compositor-turned-journalist who rose to become a weekly editor has retired after 40 years with his company.
David Lennard was one of a small group of typesetters at the East Anglian Daily times to be retrained as a journalist in the 1980s – going on to work at several different newspapers across East Anglia.
From the Ipswich-based EADT he went on to become chief reporter for the Suffolk patch of the Eastern Daily Press, before moving to fellow Archant-owned title the Lowestoft Journal in 2005 to take up the same position.
He has spent the past four years as editor of the Beccles and Bungay Journal and retired on Friday 27 February, having celebrated his 63rd birthday earlier last month.
Said David: “I have had a wonderful career working as a journalist in East Anglia and have made so many friends over the years.
“I am very sad to be leaving but at the same time I am looking forward to my retirement.”
Paying tribute EADT editor Terry Hunt said: “David began his career with this company as a compositor and he was among a small group who retrained to become journalists in the 1980s, in what was an innovative move for the newspaper industry.
“It speaks volumes for David’s talent, and dedication, that he made such a success of his career within editorial.”
David, who is a keen supporter of Ipswich Town Football Club, played for several football and cricket teams across Suffolk in his youth, and still enjoys watching matches today.
His other hobbies include gardening and going for walks along the coast, and he now aims to spend more time with wife Valerie, two children and six grandchildren..
A retirement lunch was held in David’s honour at Archant’s head office at Prospect House, Norwich.
Among his leaving gifts was a football shirt signed by the entire Ipswich Town first team squad.
EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: “David is not only a great journalist, he is a mentor, friend and a loving family man to boot.
“We have been very lucky to have him working in key roles in our company for more than 40 years and wish him a long and successful retirement.”