Hold the front page – the bus is coming for the newspaper

Colin Heathcote. Picture by Brian Young
Colin Heathcote. Picture by Brian Young

A former reporter has gone back to his roots with a fictionalised account of life on a rural local weekly newspaper.

No Fires In Tring, written by Warkworth resident Colin Heathcote, harks back to the 1960s when Berkhamsted Gazette copy was hammered out on an old Underwood typewriter and sent by bus to be converted into lead type at the printing works in nearby Hemel Hempstead.

It tells the story of trainee reporter Paul Barnes, whose dreams of winning journalistic prizes for his great reporting skills are soon shattered by the day-to-day reality of show results, chimney fires and school fetes, broken by the occasional major scoop.

Colin, who spent five years at the paper, said: “Whilst the obtaining of the newspaper stories has been embellished for comic effect, the recorded articles in the book are as appeared in the Berkhamsted Gazette.

“The book helps reflect life on a rural local weekly newspaper in the mid to late 1960s; a world which has long since disappeared.”

No Fires In Tring is currently only available as a download via the Amazon website.