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Author of long-running regional daily gossip column dies aged 85

Peter ChapmanA journalist who wrote a long-running regional daily gossip column for 33 years has died aged 85.

Peter Chapman, left, was one of only three writers of the Grimsby Telegraph’s Odd Man Out column over the course of its 83 years in print.

The column, a light-hearted look at the “inconsequential but interesting bits and bobs” of life in the Grimsby area, was first launched in 1938 and ran until Peter’s retirement in 2021.

Peter, who also wrote a book the newspaper entitled ‘100 years of the Grimsby Telegraph’, died at his home in Scartho last month after a short illness.

He had first joined the paper as a junior reporter in 1958, returning in the late 70s following a stint in Fleet Street and a spell running an antique shop.

In a tribute piece, the Telegraph described his passing as the “end of an era” for the town.

“Peter loved his hometown and the surrounding area and touched the lives of its people through his definitive writing and unrivalled knowledge of the rich history of the area,” wrote reporters Peter Craig and Lucy Wood.

“His vast knowledge which he cheerfully shared was built upon experiences in the military, as an antique dealer, long-serving journalist, speaker and family man. He had a few lifetimes, all rolled into one.

Telegraph head of news Hannah Corken added: “I had the absolute pleasure of working with Peter for many years after I joined the Telegraph as a young trainee in 1998. He was a fascinating man with a cracking sense of humour who loved Grimsby and its residents.

“His local knowledge was second-to-none and he was looked up to by many a trainee as they passed through the Grimsby Telegraph newsroom on their career journey, as well as the more senior members of the team. I know each and every one of them will have treasured memories of him, as I do .

“He was one of a kind. His sad death really is the end of an era and our thoughts are with all his loved ones.”

Peter wrote his final column – by then known as ‘Odd Man’s Week’, in October 2021. He is survived by his wife, Annie, two children and several grandchildren.