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Editor bids farewell to weekly after almost 19 years’ service

Lucy SladeAn editor has said farewell to the newspaper she has served for almost 19 years.

Rebecca Brooks is leaving her role at the Midsomer Norton & Radstock Journal, where she has worked since September 2004 and occupied the editor’s chair for the last nine years.

Rebecca leaves the Somerset weekly to take up a new role in the local charity sector and will be replaced by Lucy Slade.

Lucy, pictured, joined Tindle in 2019 after leaving Bath Spa University.

In a farewell editorial, Rebecca thanked the Journal’s readers for their “amazing” support since the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020 prompted owner Tindle Newspapers to temporarily cease publication for six months.

She wrote: “Now that the paper is safely back on its feet and I am no longer a single, twenty-something able to work all hours of the day and night, it’s time for someone new to take the reins.

“Plus, I have been offered an incredible opportunity to work in the local charity sector.

“Whilst I am really sad to be leaving my dear colleagues, I am so excited about this next phase in my career.”

Lucy, who will officially have the title of content editor, will be assisted in the running of the Journal by advertising chief Sarah Shipley, whose father Steve launched the paper.

Steve, who died in 2017, was working for Fosseway Press in 1980 when the company decided to take advantage of a strike at the Somerset Guardian and launch a rival publication.

Tindle Newspapers subsequently purchased the Journal in October 2003.

Rebecca added: “I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to the Shipley family – Steve saw a gap in the market during the print strikes in the 80s and that is how we ended up with our brilliant, free community newspaper that we have today.

“To all of the locals who stayed up all night putting the paper together by hand and then delivering it, I salute you.”