February 11 Letters: Recalling fond memories of a true gentleman of the Press

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From: Frederic Manby, Gargrave, North Yorkshire.

WITH reference to your obituary article on Sir Gordon Linacre (The Yorkshire Post, February 7), I met Gordon Linacre when, with Reg Brace, I covered the opening of the Wellington Street HQ by Prince Charles for The Yorkshire Post. It was quite an honour because Reg Brace was a legend and I had just joined the great paper.

After I became the paper’s motoring correspondent, Sir Gordon would ring out of the blue to quiz me about suitable cars. One requirement was the ability to drive down rutted or root-strewn river banks to his angling haunts. He liked Citroëns because he could raise the suspension and whatever I said he’d get another Citroën. These calls often lasted half an hour and could get in the way of work.

Once, I mouthed “it’s Sir Gordon” to a colleague. The keen angler had keen ears and heard that silent intonation but was charming and let me off by making it into a joke. A charming boss.

From: Don Booker, Hall Place, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

HOW sad to read about the death of Sir Gordon Linacre. He was a true newspaperman who did so much to improve media standards in Yorkshire.

It was pleasing to read about his interest in golf, because my memories of Sir Gordon go back to the 1950s when he was editor of the Sheffield Star.

When the paper had been “put to bed” he joined sub-editors, reporters and advertising representatives from South Yorkshire on numerous golf courses, being a member of the Sheffield Press Golf Circle and enjoying competition away from the news room.

He also enjoyed the inter-city golf matches with the Leeds Press Golf Circle and often won his matches.

The last time we played together was at the Sickleholme Golf Club on the outskirts of Sheffield where we finished the 18th hole in semi-darkness.

He fancied a drink, but when we got to the 19th hole the bar was closed and he suggested we joined him in his motor home in the car park where he prepared ‘supper’ and then led discussions on the future of the regional Press.

He loved to talk about newspapers at a time when the typewriter was the power in the newsroom.

Golfers usually wear a sweater or pullover, but for some reason, Gordon always managed to play in an old checked sports jacket with elbows exposed. He still looked dignified.

He was a true “gentleman of the Press”.