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Paperback release for novel which captures lost newspaper era

Colin Heathcote 1A novel about the life of a junior reporter in a lost era of local newspapers has been released in paperback form.

Colin Heathcote’s No Fires In Tring, which recall his days as a journalist on the Berkhamsted Gazette, has been published in book form after its initial digital-only release last April.

Characters in the book are based on former colleagues of Colin, left, who worked at the Gazette from 1966 to 1970, while real events covered at the time also feature.

Its main character is Paul Barnes, a 21-year-old aspiring journalist who, after leaving school in Watford with a couple of O levels five years earlier, finally lands a job as a reporter with the Hertfordshire Newspapers Ltd.

Colin said of the novel: “Whilst the obtaining of the newspaper stories has been embellished for comic effect, the recorded articles in the book are as appeared in the Berkhamsted Gazette. The characters featured are based on people who worked for the company, although their names have been changed.

“The book helps reflect life on a rural local weekly newspaper in the mid to late 1960s; a world which has long since disappeared.

“Since those days many dozens of small weekly and regional daily papers in the UK have disappeared to be replaced by free papers, news web sites and information churning social media networks.

“The local offices of the Berkhamsted Gazette and Tring and District News, and Hemel Hempstead Gazette have been closed; the papers are no longer produced in the county of Hertfordshire but in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.”

Originally released as a Kindle download, the paperback version of ‘No Fires In Tring’ is also available through Amazon, and includes several pictures which illustrated some of the Gazette stories.