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News editor whose journalism career spanned six decades dies aged 85

Alan CurrenA journalist who ended up news editor of the weekly newspaper where he began his career has died aged 85.

Tributes have been paid former Chorley and Leyland Guardian journalist Alan Curren, left, who also worked on the Bolton Evening News and the Telegraph in Manchester.

His newspaper career spanned six decades, but was interspersed by National Service, which he began in 1953, and a later break to run a corner shop in Chorley.

Gary Jones, executive editor at the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror, has been among those to pay tribute.

He said: “I worked on the Chorley Guardian many years ago and fondly remember news editor Alan Curren, a stalwart of the newspaper, who loyally served the readers and residents of Chorley for many decades.”

Alan began at the Guardian as a cub reporter in 1947 at the age of 16.

Following time in Bolton and Manchester, he returned as news editor in the 1970s at the behest of George Birtill, who was editor from 1946 until 1977.

Former Guardian reporter David Nowell worked for Alan as a teenager in the 70s.

He said: “Alan was a great guy – an old-school journalist and a pleasure to work for. I learned so much from him. He taught us all to treat everyone with respect no matter how high or low their social status, but never to be intimidated by power.

“He was a gentleman who recognised hard work. In fact, he wasn’t adverse to shutting the Chorley Guardian office after the paper had gone to press and taking us all to the pub. Anyone calling at the office would be told we were having staff meeting.”

Alan retired as news editor of the Guardian in 1992 and lived with his wife Vina in Horwich.

He died at Royal Bolton Hospital on 6 July, and his funeral was held at Chorley Unitarian Chapel on Tuesday.