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Former editor celebrates career by holidaying in 20 towns he served

A former editor has decided to celebrate his career by taking a mini-break in each of the 20 places he served.

Richard Howarth is undertaking the holiday challenge, which will see him stay in towns across Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

Richard most recently served as editor of the Stratford Herald, the newspaper where he began his career in 1984, which he ran from 2018 until his departure last year.

He was once launch editor of the rival Stratford Observer, which he ran from 1989 to 1995, and was also in charge of the Northants Herald & Post series between 1995 to 2009.

Richard Howarth 2022

Between July 2015 and February 2016, he was editor of nine Johnston Press titles across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

For the following two years, he ran the Banbury Guardian and Rugby Advertiser in his role as content editor.

Richard, pictured, had planned to stay at the Herald until his state pension arrived in 2027, but changed plans in 2021 ahead of his wife needing major surgery relating to chronic balance disorders.

He currently combines caring with some freelance reporting shifts for the Herald and National World.

Richard told HTFP: “It’s good to be involved again but during my time away I enjoyed occasional visits to areas I knew from my various jobs as editor but had not really spent time in.

“From that sprang the idea to spend a night in each of the places named in the masthead of a paper I’d been editor of.

“Ignoring duplications, that means: Banbury, Berkhamsted, Bicester, Brackley, Buckingham, Corby, Coventry, Daventry, Hemel Hempstead, Kettering, Market Harborough, Northampton, Rugby, Rushden, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thame, Towcester, Tring, Wellingborough and Winslow.

“I’ve not counted the glorious week when I edited the Hinckley Times and Nuneaton Tribune as a freelance – nor Aylesbury, because the two papers I edited there didn’t have the name in the masthead.”

As part of his challenge, Richard will visit the former headquarters of the Coventry Telegraph, which reopened as a hotel last year.

He added: “I’m not sure this totally makes up for all the holidays we didn’t take because of the job or the interruptions etc – and even if my eclectic list isn’t my wife’s top 20, she bought me a voucher for the Telegraph Hotel in Coventry for my birthday so I guess that’s where we’ll be starting the challenge.”