Tributes paid to the former editor of the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard - a popular man who loved his family, the newspaper and Wimblington

Bill Bradshaw at his desk

Bill Bradshaw at his desk - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to Bill Bradshaw former editor of the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard who died on Wednesday (23).

Bill and Brenda Bradshaw pictured at the time of Mr Bradshaw's retirement from this paper

Bill and Brenda Bradshaw pictured at the time of Mr Bradshaw's retirement from this paper - Credit: Archant

Mr Bradshaw, 79, who died following a long illness, began his career at the Cambs Times as an apprentice in January 1952.

Over the years he worked at the Wisbech Standard, which he edited for four years, and also the Ely Standard.

He was sports editor at the March paper for 14 years before becoming group features editor, a position which also saw him edit the company’s free titles in Stamford and King’s Lynn.

He became editor of the Cambs Times in 1983 following the retirement of the late Jack Hall. Mr Bradshaw retired from the newspaper industry - which he always dubbed: “Not so much a job, more a way of life” - in February 1994.

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But he continued to have an input in the paper throughout the 1990s when he became village correspondent for Wimblington, where he was also clerk to the parish council.

Mr Bradshaw was born at Stitches Farm in Wimblington, and was the son of William and Florence Bradshaw. He lived in Wisbech, Ely and March over the years, before moving back to his home village of Wimblington in 1992. He attended March Grammar School, and served his national service with the RAF.

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He was a devoted family man and was married to Brenda for 57 years. The couple had two daughters Sandra Mason of Doddington, and the late Lorraine Collins, who sadly died of leukaemia at the age of 43 in 2006.

Mr Bradshaw, who was a keen darts player and also enjoyed fishing in his younger days, had five grandchildren: Vicki, William and Daniel Mason and Lucy and Stephanie Collins.

Brian Asplin, Former editor of the Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard said was a work colleague who became a life long friend.

“Bill was a solid old school journalist,” Mr Asplin said.

“He was opposed to journalistic gimmicks. His view was that if a story was newsworthy the public should be told about it simply, objectively and above all accurately.

“He was a great man for detail. He would never accept a defence from staff that a story was ‘almost correct’.

“Whatever success I achieved in my 44 years in journalism was largely down to Bill and his advice, help and often gentle boot up my backside.

“There are many journalists who have that to thank him for.”

Terry Redhead, who worked with Mr Bradshaw when he started as a junior reporter in 1972, said: “He took me under his wing and helped me flourish as a journalist.

“Bill always had time for everybody, he would help reporters out with stories, give advice. He was a real old school newspaper man, he loved the Fens, wanted to get behind campaigns, support the local people.

“He loved his family first and foremost, loved the newspaper and loved Wimblington.”

Sarah Cliss, current content editor for the Cambs Times, worked with Mr Bradshaw as news editor in the late 1980s, said: “I have very fond memories of Bill. He was a great man to work with, he had a great sense of humour, which is essential in this job. He loved newspapers and people. He always enjoyed getting a good scoop and always encouraged his staff to be the best reporters they could be.”

His funeral will be held on Thursday January 7 at 11.45am at St Peter’s Church, Wimblington, followed by a private cremation.

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