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‘True newspaper man’ who oversaw printing of more than 70 titles retires

Derek Newman 1A “true newspaper man” responsible for the printing of more than 70 different newspapers has stepped down after 40 years in the industry.

The Dorset Echo has bid farewell to Derek Newman, pictured left, plate-making and scheduling supervisor at its Weymouth Print Centre.

Derek has been involved in the industry since the age of 13, and has seen first-hand the evolution of the printing press into the Millennium from scalpels and paper cuttings to modern computer methods.

He first became interested in printing via a school publishing club, and began his career at the Echo on 4 January 1977 as a Linotype operator in the composition room.

Said Derek: “It used to be a very, very labour intensive occupation with a lot of heavy machinery. We would sit at big key board with a pot of molten lead behind us.

“We used to heat steak and kidney pies on it and I haven’t tasted a pie like it since.”

Derek has lived in Weymouth his entire life, and is now moving to Rhayader, in Mid Wales, with wife Maureen to be close to their daughter.

Newsquest regional print manager Steve Ainsworth said: “Businesses rarely see such commitment and application from employees over such a long career. Derek Newman is one such person who exemplifies the true tradition of a newspaper man.

“Coming from the halcyon days of typesetting right through to ‘modern’ production methods, he proved himself an invaluable member of the Dorset Echo team and latterly to the Weymouth Print Centre being instrumental in the workflow and output of new digital page technology.

“It is an often overused comment that he will be sorely missed but in this case, that statement would be true.”

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  • February 28, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Good luck, Derek … you have been a credit to the profession.

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