Friends pay tribute to "old school" newspaperman John Abbs
FRIENDS and colleagues have paid tribute to widely respected former Citizen journalist John Abbs, who has died at the age of 74.
John was an "old school" newspaperman whose attention to detail, fairness and accuracy were held in high regard throughout a career spanning almost half a century.
He was born in Orpington, Kent, in March, 1938, and during the Second World War the family moved to Gloucestershire, where John went to Marling, Stroud's only grammar school for boys.
His first job in journalism was as a cub reporter on the then the Stroud Journal at the age of 16. It was important to get scoops and beat the rival Stroud News "even with such menial matters as whist drives, rummage sales and village meetings" said fellow Old Marlingtonian, former workmate and friend, Ron Gardiner.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
John, who then lived at Forest Green, Nailsworth, married his first wife Marjorie Hinder of Avening and went on to gain considerable experience with other newspapers, on the south coast, in Bristol and in Gloucester.
At The Citizen, John was a senior reporter specialising in business and industry, then chief reporter. Switching to the sub editors' department, he quickly learned how to polish a reporter's story, write a smart headline and design an attractive page and became deputy chief sub editor and features editor.
"Whatever task John was given, he would do it well and he earned the respect of all his colleagues," Ron said.
John numbered novelist Laurie Lee, author of Cider with Rosie, among his friends.
At The Citizen, he met his second wife Beverly, who worked as woman's page editor, and in the 1980s they moved to Kempsey in Worcester, where he became a valued member of the news and features sub editing teams at the Worcester Evening News, then as a freelance sub editor on various Worcestershire weekly papers, before returning part time as a sub editor on the Worcester News before finally retiring at the age of 69.
John became ill last summer but still retained a keen interest in the trade. As one of his last acts, he was proof-reading pages at home – a newspaperman to the end.
He leaves second wife Beverly, three daughters, Alison, Rosie and Lucy, and two grandchildren, Mia and Lauren. A funeral service will be held at St Mary's Church, Kempsey, on Monday at 11.30am.