A daily newspaper’s history and nostalgia page has ceased publication after 80 years following a “regional managerial decision”.
The Leicester Mercury printed its last daily ‘Mr Leicester’ page, described as a “reader favourite”, on Saturday.
Mr Leicester began life as a gossip column in the 1930s, evolving post-war into a community news portfolio and developing its local history angle from the early 1980s onwards.
The Mercury says the column has been replaced with a new nostalgia feature.
Austin Ruddy, a Mercury journalist for 20 years, edited Mr Leicester from 2012 until its closure.
HTFP understands Austin worked his last day at the Mercury on Thursday.
In a farewell piece published in Friday’s edition, he wrote: “After 80 years, in a moment of ultimate irony, the Mr Leicester nostalgia page is itself to become history.
“The page has been a reader favourite for eight decades, but now, as it happens, has had its day.”
Austin added: “It has been a real honour to receive readers’ personal stories and cherished photos, all of which I have found fascinating.
“I think it’s fair to say that no [editor of] Mr Leicester has pretended to know everything about the city and county’s history: we added what knowledge we have, but the greatest stories and tales of yesteryear have come direct, first hand, from readers themselves.”
In response to a similar farewell post on the Mr Leicester Facebook page, one reader questioned why the decision had been made.
The Mr Leicester account responded: “It was a regional managerial decision.”
TM has announced a total of 98 jobs are at risk as part of the introduction of a new newsroom model at a number of its centres across England and Wales.
However, it is not clear whether Austin’s departure from the Mercury is linked to this.
HTFP has approached the Mercury for further comment.