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Editor who wrote for weekly for more than 70 years dies aged 89

Tony LangmackAn editor who wrote for a weekly newspaper for more than 70 years and continued to file copy until a few weeks ago has died aged 89.

Tributes have been paid to Tony Langmack, left,  who earned the nickname ‘Mr Berwick Advertiser’ due to his long association with the Northumberland paper.

Tony began working on the Advertiser in August 1945, and edited the title from 1978.

He retired in 1995, two years after receiving the MBE for services to journalism and the local community, but continued to write for the Gazette in his old age.

At its peak during Tony’s time with the Advertiser, it boasted a staff of more than 100 at Berwick and 25 more at Selkirk.

Tony was appointed chief reporter in 1951 and twice turned down offers to edit the paper before eventually taking the tob job on.

He was also offered a job with the Newcastle Chronicle – but turned it down after a riverside walk with his wife Catherine, with whom he had a son called Keith, citing afterwards: “Why the hell should I move from here.”

Tony was also a lifetime member of the NUJ and a former Berwick union branch secretary.

An obituary in the Advertiser states: “For many years Tony was known as ‘Mr Berwick Advertiser,’ and rightly so. Hailing from Coldstream, where his father Hans was provost, he had first started work with the paper in 1945… and was still filing copy until shortly before his passing, an incredible 70-plus years later.

“Many honours were bestowed upon Tony during his lifetime, but the two he was most proud of were receiving an MBE for services to journalism and the local community in 1993, just two years before he officially retired, and being made an Honorary Freeman of his adopted town Berwick in 2015.

“Being a humble man, he always said he dedicated both awards to the many colleagues he had worked with over the years, claiming teamwork had always been key to getting the ‘Tizer’ out every week.”

Away from journalism, Tony was involved in a number of charitable organisation, played cricket for Coldstream and was a supporter of two football clubs – Newcastle United, who play in the English leagues and Berwick Rangers, who play in the Scottish leagues.

His love of Rangers led to him writing the club’s centenary book in 1981.

The obituary adds: “Tony was an ‘old school hack,’ always carrying a notepad (or more often than not just a scrap of paper) in his pocket.

“His shorthand was legendary – it was so small it was often said he could write an entire council meeting on one scrap of paper, or a Rangers report on the back of a cigarette packet.”

Tony’s funeral will be held today at 1.15pm at St Andrew’s Church of Scotland, Wallace Green, Berwick.