Tribute to a fine wordsmith

Welcome to one and all as our column reaches its 20th year and here this week we remember the renowned editor Noel Wild who kindly published my very first feature in this newspaper in the year 1973.

Can it really be that two decades have passed since Noel left us for the great newsdesk above, age 74 in May 1996?

Noel, seen here on the right age 14 in 1936 as he began his lifetime in journalism at The Craven Herald and on the left we see Noel 51 years later age 65 in 1987 on his retirement from the Leader-Times newspapers, after an illustrious 27 years as editor.

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Noel was without doubt the most talented wordsmith of his generation.

Words were used to form a wonderful relationship between the autor himself and the reader.

Back in the early 1970s, Noel taught me a most special maxim: “Geoff, never write from the head, always from your heart”.

Wise words indeed.

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Noel was a truly convivial companion, albeit at The General Gordon Hotel in Nelson or The Lane Ends Inn at Brierfield, his capacity for consuming Chivas-Regal whisky was legendary.

I remember over 35 years ago at Noel’s home at 9 Delph Mount, a full bottle having been consumed and both of us being startled as the early-morning newspaper dropped through the letterbox!

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Noel Wild, a man I was proud to call my friend.