Morecambe nostalgia: memories of Visitor newspaper in the 70s

Mr Lesley Morgan was given a Visitor pin holder memorabilia from 1974.
Mr Lesley Morgan was given a Visitor pin holder memorabilia from 1974.

Happy memories of past Visitor days were brought to life from a photograph we printed last week.

Tony North’s photograph showing Visitor staff at the paper’s 100th anniversary dinner prompted readers to get in touch.

Mr Lesley Morgan was given a Visitor pin holder memorabilia from 1974.

Mr Lesley Morgan was given a Visitor pin holder memorabilia from 1974.

For Peter Lovett-Horn the nostalgic picture brought back many happy memories.

He said: “I am somewhere on the photographs or perhaps one of the shadowy figures lurking near the bar, but one person really stands out for me.

“He is Douglas Monson Errington, on the far left of the picture who for many years was the paper’s celebrated news editor.

“He was also my mentor to whom I was indentured as a junior reporter. I believe I was one of the last such ‘indentured reporters’ and well remember the day my father and I had to sign the documents over an impressive seal.

“Chewing on his tobacco – a habit that stayed with him throughout his life – he remarked ‘it’s a bit like the Magna Carta’.

“Dougie Errington took his responsibilities serious and never a day went by without him proffering advice and words of wisdom.

“He insisted I got a Pitman’s shorthand qualification, eventually 120 words per minute, which was strange considering his own form of note-taking involved long scrawls of handwriting which only he could read or, indeed, understand.

“Mr Errington also always referred to me as ‘the boy’ even when I was well into my 20s, and the first time he used my Christian name was in a letter on his retirement in which he wrote ‘You have done well, better than I hoped. I am proud.’

“And I remain proud of that friendship with a man who guided me on my first uncertain days of what was to become a lifetime in journalism.

“One of my last memories of this Visitor legend was sitting with him on a bench in Lancaster’s Market Square.

“He was then well into his 80s and was blind, but as ever was wonderfully alert. Holding my hand he said ‘take nothing for granted,’ great advice from a wonderful journalist and friend.

“I, along with so many other journalists, remain indebted to Douglas Monson Errington.

“He taught us to be good reporters and much more. He taught us about life.”

Meanwhile, another reader, Mr Lesley Morgan, also got in touch with his Visitor memories.Mr Morgan, of St John’s Road, Heysham, received a special pin holder, which contained a print of a 1974 Visitor to celebrate the centenary year.

Former editor of the Visitor, Mike Whalley, handed the commemorative pin holder to Mr Morgan in 1974, when he was manager of the then Huddersfield and Bradford Building Society, now Yorkshire Building Society, on Claremont Road, Morecambe.

Mr Morgan, 88, worked for the branch for 22 years and the businesses heavily supported the paper.

Thank you to Peter Lovett-Horn and Mr Morgan for their memories.