Defying death at the double to become Honorary Freeman of Warrington


IT was an extremely proud moment for our family when my father David was made Honorary Freeman of Warrington- and we nearly didn’t live to see the achievement or tell the tale!

When I entered the family business as a 15-year-old learning the trade in my school holidays, before joining full-time at 16, he set high standards for me to follow – with a work ethic like no other – and is still working part-time approaching his 87th birthday!

As well as hard working he is also the most modest man I have ever met and will be wondering why he has been honoured for doing his job. I had to conceal the honour from him until the last minute and told him he was coming to the Parr Hall to see me collect an award.
He was completely shellshocked by the honour – but one in my opinion richly deserved, after dedicating a huge part of his life to providing free community news for all in a balanced and independent way – most of the time!

He has almost 70 years of local news reporting experience across Warrington. He started his career with the Knutsford Guardian, Warrington Guardian and Lancashire Evening Post, before setting up his own local media organisation, Orbit News, more than 50 years ago, which is now a third generation family business.

Since launching our Warrington-based titles, he has covered hundreds – if not thousands – of community features and stories. His journalism has supported many community and voluntary organisations to receive profile across Warrington.

What many people don’t know is that both of us were nearly not here to tell the tale, when almost 30 years ago he suffered a cricketing injury that almost cost him his life with a delayed rupture of the spleen, while I almost died after a hospital operation went wrong – both within six months of each other.
So if you ever wonder why I believe in fate – you now know why.
Congratulations Dad- we lived to tell the tale and none of it would have been possible with the support of mum!
Footnote: As I wanted the honour to be a surprise I also asked my father to write his own obituary (for background info) telling him it would save some time in the future!


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Chair of Warrington Healthwatch Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.


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