AFTER 63 years working in the newspaper industry, an avid sports fan and popular member of the team is set to leave the Gloucestershire Gazette and its sister papers.

Roy Baldwin, 78, joined the Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard as an apprentice compositor in 1951 and has not looked back since.

He finishes today as the Gazette’s circulation department assistant after moving to the Dursley office in 1959 but has worked in numerous departments including sales, distribution, printing and commercial printing under three different owners in his time.

He initially retired in 1998 at the spring chicken age of 62 but agreed to do some part time work “temporarily” two weeks later, which ended up lasting a further 16 years.

Roy said he had seen many changes to the industry during his career and always found it interesting work.

“It’s been a long journey and an interesting journey and, as anyone my age will tell you I can still recall my first day of work.

“I was fresh-faced and with the innocence of youth worrying about what was going to befall me but it was very satisfying.

“It was a life-changing experience. I met some wonderful and friendly staff.

“The biggest change has been the change in technology. The former owner Baileys used to employ 300 workers with day and night shifts. It was always very very busy.”

Originally from Cirencester, the Dursley 91 Probus member has lived in The Knapp in Dursley since 1993 after marrying his wife Anne in 1959.

He has four grandchildren and two children, Kevin who lives in Gloucester and Sue who lives just down the road from him in Dursley.

A keen sportsman, he played cricket for Stretton Cricket Club in Cirencester before joining Cam Cricket Club and would also play for several football clubs.

Roy has also been an avid follower of amateur dramatics, taking on many roles on the stage for Woodford Operatic Society before it turned into the Dursley Operatic and Dramatic Society.

The Dursley Male Voice Choir member told the Gazette he looks forward to tending to his garden as well as maybe taking on some voluntary work in the future.

“I am very appreciative of the people I have come into contact with and for making friends with so many people over the years,” he said.

“I have enjoyed my working life and I will miss it, but I do not intend to vegetate,” he said.