Tributes to a ‘highly-respected journalist’

Former colleagues have paid tribute to long-standing Gazette editor Bob Bingham, who lost his battle with cancer on Friday.

Bob, 72, joined the paper as a reporter in 1973 and became deputy editor in 1983. He was editor for 16 years, from 1987 until he retired at the end of 2003.

Gazette editor Bob Bingham (second from the left) on a staff fishing trip in 1997.

Gazette editor Bob Bingham (second from the left) on a staff fishing trip in 1997.

After more than half-a-century of friendship, Ross Weeks, former editor of the News Guardian and News Post Leader, paid tribute to Bob.

“As a reporter, Bob’s stories were always accurate, fair and balanced, qualities he kept throughout his career.

“He had friends and contacts everywhere, with a tremendous ability to dig out a story.

“As editor, he fought for his area on a wide range of issues over the years and was an eloquent ambassador for the town.

“He was a great person to be with and had a fine sense of humour.

“Bob was a caring family man, with a passion for his newspapers and his county. Northumberland, and Alnwick in particular, are the poorer for his passing.”

“My condolences go to his wife, Susan, and their family.”

Bob’s former colleague on the Gazette and ex-Morpeth Herald editor Terry Hackett said: “Bob’s appointment as chief reporter at the Gazette in 1973 enlivened the newsroom.

“His inquisitive nature and excellent contacts were matched only by his enthusiasm for ferreting out the facts and hammering them into the finished article at a relentless pace.

“That same fantastic work ethic served him well when he went on to become assistant editor and eventually editor. He set a great example for young journalists who began their careers at the Gazette and many will be grateful for the lessons they learned under his leadership.

“Having worked with him and for him for many years, it was with some trepidation that in 1988 I took on the editorship of what was then a rival newspaper down the road from Alnwick. As an opponent he gave no quarter, but we remained friends and he was always great company to be with. We shared a lot of laughs together over the years and that’s how I’ll remember him best.”

Gazette deputy editor Janet Hall said: “The eight years I worked with Bob were some of the happiest of my career. He was a man of the utmost integrity, firm but always fair. Bob was a true professional, a highly-respected journalist and a lovely, lovely man. I will miss him enormously.”

A private interment will be followed by a memorial service at St Michael’s Church, Alnwick, on Friday (January 10) at 11am. Donations to Cancer Research UK in lieu of flowers, c/o Alistair Turner Funeral Directors, Garden Lodge, Greenwell Road, Alnwick, Northumberland NE66 1HB.

More tributes in this week’s Gazette.