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Journalist ‘banged out’ by children as he leaves daily for new editor role

The children of a journalist who is working remotely held a ‘banging out’ ceremony for him as he left a regional daily to take a new editor role.

Rob Parsons worked his last day as political editor at the Yorkshire Post on Friday before joining Reach plc as editor of its new politics and public affairs title The Northern Agenda.

But, as Rob was working from home for the Leeds-based Post on Friday, his colleagues were unable to bid him farewell in person.

Instead, his four-year-old son Rory and daughter Maeve, two, banged on pots and pans as their father switched off his laptop for the last time.

Rob posted a video of the ‘banging out’ on Twitter and it has since been viewed more than 80,000 times.

Rob told HTFP: “It was a bittersweet day for me as I’m hugely excited by my new role as Northern Agenda editor but after eight years I felt very sad to be leaving behind all my wonderful friends and colleagues at the Yorkshire Post.

“I was working from home in my bedroom in north Leeds as I have been since last March and felt like it would be something of an anticlimax to just turn my laptop off and go downstairs.

“I’ve seen a few colleagues banged out on their last day at work pre-pandemic so I thought it might be quite fun to get my children to do the same for me. And they were very happy to bash some saucepans with big plastic spoons.

“My wife recorded the whole thing and I thought it was quite funny so put the video on Twitter. I was amazed by how many people respond to it.”

The tradition of ‘banging out’ was originally was for a retiring journalist being walked by their colleagues through the presses in the print room.

Printers would hit the metal benches with their hammers, beating out a ceremonial slow-march to mark the departure.