Monday, 11 March 2013

Saying goodbye

Hello again. I am not dead nor sleeping, and I apologise for not updating this blog for so long. But it has done its work in the sense that it is a pretty comprehensive bibliography. I just need to find some time to trawl back looking for unanswered comments.  Sorry again, to those who have made them and waited patiently.

I will now have that time, because I am retiring from the Guardian on Easter Sunday after 37 very happy years, the last 25 in the north and the last 16 as Northern Editor. This sounds like quite a long time but is dwarfed by my namesake but not relation, George Wainwright, who started as a boy messenger on the Manchester Guardian in Cross Street and carried out all manner of jobs, notably as librarian and then secretary to our legendary editor CP Scott.

In the latter role he was known for gazing disparagingly at the great man as he wobbled off on his bicycle to ride home to Didsbury, and commenting that a tram would get him in the end if he didn't take more care. One of my treasured possessions is a copy of the Cross Street Journal, the old MG house magazine, which has a photo of George being given a teapot by Laurence Scott to mark 59 years' service. And he wasn't retiring!

I am. And for family reasons I am also moving south, to Oxford, happy and secure that in Helen Pidd, I have the best of successors as Northern Editor, one who will make sure that the north has its proper place in the paper to which it gave birth.  I will shut up about the north in public, while no doubt gabbing on in private, especially if anyone ever makes the mistake in my presence of using the word 'grim'.  I have never approved of northerners who leave the north but continue to write about it as if they were still there. I won't.

I'm just getting this done promptly because the Guardian has kindly indulged me with a farewell piece which is here, and which has been linked to this blog.  I didn't want anyone arriving here as a result to find some rather dated stuff from the Bradford West by-election (post below).  If you trawl backwards, or forwards from the beginning, I hope you'll find it interesting.  All warm wishes for now. I hope to be back soon to add a copy of that photo of Teapot George.