Long serving staff say farewell

Stan Mackie and Brian Forsyth who both retire from the Arbroath Herald/Guide & Gazette today (Friday).
Stan Mackie and Brian Forsyth who both retire from the Arbroath Herald/Guide & Gazette today (Friday).

An Arbroath Herald and Guide & Gazette stalwart retires today (Friday) after 47 years with the newspapers.

Brian Forsyth (64) has been with the titles since joining straight from school in 1967 aged 17.

As a young reporter, Brian worked under Nor Riddle, another Herald stalwart. George S. Shepherd MBE was the editor.

On Nor’s retirement, Brian took up the role of chief reporter and continued in that post until 1999.

Mr Shepherd took up the role of chairman of the former Arbroath Herald Ltd and Brian was appointed associate editor.

He has continued in that position until today. He is married to Linda, and has three sons and four grandchildren.

Present editor Brian Stormont said: “It feels a little strange, as I worked with Brian when I joined the newspaper in 1989.

“We will miss his encyclopaedic knowledge of the town and the surrounding area.

“Forty seven years is an amazing length of time to spend in the one job and I think we could safely say that is unlikely to be repeated.”

While Stuart Birkett, manging director of Johnston Press Scotland added: “I’ve only worked directly with Brian for one of his incredible 47 years of loyal service with the Arbroath Herald. But by all accounts, the professionalism and hard work that I have seen first-hand in that time, is something that Brian has constantly exhibited to his current and former colleagues throughout his career.

“There have been many changes at the Herald and Gazette and in the local media industry over the years. However, good journalists with an eye for a story, with their roots in local communities and with a dedication to the paper, and now also its website, as well as to the company, will always be needed.

“Brian is just such a journalist. We wish him well in his retirement, but he will be truly missed by the team in Arbroath and by his colleagues across Scotland.”

And as well as colleagues, local politicians have also wanted to wish Brian a happy retirement.

Angus South MSP, Graeme Dey, said: “Local newspapers are the lifeblood of our communities and journalists like Brian are the lifeblood of these newspapers.

“I have known Brian for more than 25 years and recognise the enormous service he has given the Herald and, through that, the Arbroath area.

“I wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.”

And Angus MP Mike Weir added: “Local newspapers rely on their journalists to know and have a real feel for their communities.

“No one knows Arbroath better than Brian allowing him to get to the heart of what matters to local people. His particular brand of humour will be missed by everyone. I wish him well in retirement.”

Also retiring today is photographer Stan Mackie who has been on staff since 1997, but was contributing to the newspapers from 1989.

Stan is a ‘weel kent’ face around the town and most people have probably had their picture taken for the paper by him at one time or another.

Mr Stormont added: “Stan has done a fantastic job and again we will miss the way he would happily accommodate any of our picture requests – well nearly!”