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Goodbye King's Lynn and West Norfolk: Lynn News editor retires

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And now the end is near ... and so I face my final curtain.

This week marks my final week at the Lynn News, having decided to retire at the ripe old age of 62.

I told my wife I would be gone by the time I was 60, so rather than retiring early, I somehow feel that I’m running a little late. It wasn’t an easy decision. It’s a great job and one that I feel is a privilege to do.

Lynn News editor Mark Leslie welcomed teachers, pupils and more to the Lynn News Education Awards MLNF-22AF07342
Lynn News editor Mark Leslie welcomed teachers, pupils and more to the Lynn News Education Awards MLNF-22AF07342

We have had one or two depart recently after a long time of stability (always the way) so we have something of a new team coming in, which will be exciting.

We had a new reporter (Lucy) start this week and we’ll get another trainee installed in a month’s time.

Jeremy Ransome, former deputy editor of the paper will be taking over as Editor and Rebekah Chilvers, also formerly of this parish and someone who has continued to live a stone’s throw from the office, returns in the newly-created post of Head of News.

As I may have said before, I have been in journalism for six decades. I started in June 1979 at the tender age of 18.

I’ve seen a lot of changes in those times, and those changes have gathered increasing pace in the past five years or so.

Now we very much are geared to the digital product. That is genuinely excellent because the days of working to a couple of deadlines a week (in the case of the Lynn News) are long gone. Every day, every minute is a deadline. Which means the cycle of news never stops.

How that unfolds in an exciting way was vividly illustrated by the Wootton water shortage story that broke on the first weekend of the heatwave.

There were constant updates coming in from readers and correspondents with more photographs with the picture constantly changing.

What a great response by the community, if not particularly by Anglian Water, who are another non-advertisement for the benefits of privatised public utilities.

And of course so much of that response was only made possible by social media. People in the community getting on it and doing what it is meant for, helping people (not making unpleasant remarks that impress nobody).

Anyway thanks to all the people who have given nice supportive messages, emails and letters (we love getting a letter still) thanking us for the stories we have written.

It means a lot.

And it was great to be able to go out on a real high with the revived Education Awards at Knights Hill on Thursday.

It was a great night that everybody really seemed to enjoy. This will be part of the education and civic calendar for many years to come. Thank you to everyone, particularly the sponsors. And thank you to Stuart Dark for the kind words he had for me from the stage.

You may well see my name pop up from time to time still. I’m part of the Iliffe family, a company I can honestly say has proved to have been the best I’ve worked for ... and as I may have mentioned, I’ve worked in journalism for six decades!

Mark Leslie

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