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Editor who spent four decades with weekly newspaper dies aged 92

Roy WatsonAn editor who spent four decades with the same weekly newspaper has died aged 92.

Tributes have been paid to Roy Watson, pictured, who spent the vast majority of his career with the Hertfordshire Mercury.

Old Stevenage-born Roy joined the Hertford-based Mercury in 1950, having spent a brief period at the Hertfordshire Express, in Hitchin.

He rose through the ranks at the Mercury, serving as a chief reporter and sub-editor before taking over the editorship.

His widow Ursula told the Mercury Roy had “made a conscious decision to stay close to his Hertfordshire roots and remain in local journalism rather than pursue a career with the national press”.

She added: “He was very proud of his time at the Mercury – he loved it. He was very happy there.”

Away from journalism Roy was keen player and supporter of cricket, and also served as president of the Rotary Club of Hertford.

He is also survived by children Ian and Jane, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Another daughter, Sally, died before him.

Roy’s funeral will take place at Watton-at-Stone Parish Church at 2.30pm on 17 April.


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  • April 6, 2018 at 11:50 am

    “Old Stevenage-born” [para three] is probably one of those times when an extra hyphen is needed for clarity. Applying the same to black-cab-driver avoids misunderstandings

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  • April 6, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    I knew Roy back in my earliest days in journalism. I bet he’d have been absolutely horrified by the recent developments Trinity Mirror have inflicted on his beloved Herts Mercury.
    RIP Roy Watson, a fine local newspaperman of the old school.

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  • April 9, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Roy was a fine journalist, an excellent editor and an even better man. A gentleman to the core, he was editor of the Hertfordshire Mercury during its boom years and much of this should be attributed to his leadership. As JohnW1712 says, he was a journalist of the old school, but he had a nose for news and his titles had an edge. The story count in his day was phenomenal. He would indeed be horrified to see what has been done to his beloved Hertfordshire Mercury. Rest in peace, Roy, and thank you for your guidance and leadership.

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