Staff from the last half century of Banbury Guardian production come together in a big reunion

Banbury Guardian staff, involved in producing news coverage for the area over the last half century, gathered for a reunion last week.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 4:43 pm
The gathering of former staff of the Banbury Guardian last week. Picture by Andy Cox
The gathering of former staff of the Banbury Guardian last week. Picture by Andy Cox

Editors, reporters, sports writers, photographers, receptionists and advertising staff who worked at the Guardian from the 1960s onwards enjoyed reminiscing about a golden era of newspapers.

For many, their time training or leading staff teams in Banbury was among the happiest moments in their careers. Although a few are enjoying retirement, others have used their Banbury Guardian training and experience to pursue positions in newspaper publishing, broadcasting, national news reporting, commercial photography and public relations.

Past names at the Banbury Cricket Club event were former editors Paul Napier, Jason Gibbins and Richard Howarth, photographer Harry Rhodes, chief photographer Andy Cox, sports editor Steve Smith, head receptionist Elaine Varney with Maureen Tyrrell, Sheila Rothwell and Irene Brown, deputy editor Nicola Bell, news editors Julie Spencer and Craig Forsyth, sub editors and a number of reporters.

The gathering of Banbury Guardian staff from seven decades at their reunion last Friday. Picture by Andy Cox

Current senior reporter Roseanne Edwards said: “We managed to track down nearly 100 staff, although some we could not find. These included female reporters who may have changed their names through marriage.

“Those who wanted to be there but were unable included 1980s editors David Scott and Chris Towner, deputy editor David Feldstein, news editor Jo Smith and numerous trainees and reporters – some of whom are now in senior roles on national newspapers and radio and unable to attend because of rotas.

"We had an amazing evening recounting the days with different publishers including Heart of England Newspapers, Emap and Johnston Press. It was a golden era of newspapers we were incredibly fortunate to have been part of.”