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‘Legendary’ editor’s memoirs published after widow finds them in drawer

Bill AndersonA former Sunday editor’s memoirs have been published – after his widow found them in a drawer at their home.

Maggie Anderson stumbled across the life story of her husband Bill, pictured left, who edited Dundee’s Sunday Post for 24 years and died in 2012.

His autobiography – which Maggie did not think had ever been written – was contained in two folders with the words ‘Who the hell is Bill Anderson?’ written on top.

It now forms the basis of a book entitled God Bless Mrs McGinty! – named in honour of the “ideal Sunday Post reader”.

Of her discovery, Maggie told the Post: “After he stopped work in 2003 lots of people said to him, ‘when are you going to write a book?’

“He always said he had no intention of writing one, that nobody would be interested.

“Then in 2014 I was doing a clear-out. My desk was up the top of the house. Bill never went up there because he was quite bad on the stairs by that point. I opened the desk drawer and there were the two folders.

“I started reading and I thought, ‘Gosh! This is amazing. I had a wee tear or two reading it. To this day I cannot understand how the folders got there. He’d never mentioned it. How had they got in my desk?”

Maggie Anderson with a copy of Bill's book

Maggie Anderson with a copy of Bill’s book

The book tells of Bill’s working class upbringing in 1930s and 1940s Motherwell, his time in the army and then becoming a roving reporter with the Post – a role which saw him travel the world in search of stories as its first ever “holiday on nothing” man, which became a long-running feature in the paper.

Bill was appointed editor in 1968, aged 34 and held the job until 1992. He was the first Scottish member to serve on the Press Council and in 1991 received the CBE for services to journalism.

Maggie first met Bill in 1987 when she became editor of the Sunday Post magazine.

She added: “Bill lived the Sunday Post. He was thinking all the time about it, about how to make it better. His whole life was the Sunday Post.

“I do hope people enjoy the book – though it’s really for the family more than anything else. It’s a kind of legacy I suppose.”

The book was released yesterday by Waverley Books.