Newspaper’s former editor dies

Tony Langmack
Tony Langmack

Berwick lost one of its stalwarts last week with the death of former Berwick Advertiser editor Tony Langmack at the age of 89.

For many years Tony was known as Mr Berwick Advertiser.

Hailing from Coldstream, where his father Hans was provost, he had first started work with the paper in 1945, and was still filing copy until shortly before his passing, an incredible 70-plus years later.

Many honours were bestowed upon Tony during his lifetime, but the two he was most proud of were receiving an MBE for services to journalism and the local community in 1993, just two years before he officially retired, and being made an Honorary Freeman of his adopted town Berwick in 2015.

Being a humble man, he always said he dedicated both awards to the many colleagues he had worked with over the years.

He worked on many big stories and his cuttings included the floods of 1948, Jim Clark winning the world drivers’ championship in 1963, Berwick Rangers beating Rangers in 1967, the Penmanshiel rail tunnel tragedy and the Susan Maxwell murder in 1982.

He often recalled how getting to jobs could be difficult, with the company transport consisting of a bicycle and a car.

Tony was appointed chief reporter in 1951 and subsequently editor in 1978, but not before twice turning down the offer of the role from former owner, Col JIM Smail.

His sporting interests included cricket – he played for Coldstream – Newcastle United and Berwick Rangers.

His love of the Rangers spanned many years and in 1981 led to him writing the club’s centenary book.

He also wrote another sporting history – Magdalene Fields Golf Club, the first 100 years.

Outside work he was also involved in many organisations including Rotary, Probus, St Andrew’s Club, the Talking Newspaper, Tweedmouth Old Folks Supper and Berwick Scouts. He was also a lifetime member of the NUJ.

His shorthand was legendary. It was so small it was often said he could write an entire council meeting on one scrap of paper, or a Rangers report on the back of a cigarette packet.

Tony and his wife Catherine had a son, Keith.