He went on to edit the Evening Courier in Halifax, but it was while serving as music correspondent on the old Evening Telegraph in Blackburn that he secured his biggest scoop. Up to that point, only Liverpudlian journalists had penetrated the band’s inner circle.
Shortly afterwards, in 1965, he became the first editor of the Evening Star when it launched in Burnley, and instigated a campaign to get the M65 motorway built between the two main centres of East Lancashire, Burnley and Blackburn.
Between editorships in the 1970s, at a time when most of the national newspapers produced northern editions from Manchester, he sub-edited on several daily and titles.
He spent a decade at the Courier, from 1978, finally moving to the North West Evening Mail in Barrow-in-Furness and the weekly Westmorland Gazette in Kendal, to which he and his wife, Ida, had moved in 1988.
He also helped out with producing walking books and with talking newspapers for the blind.
A keen sports player in his younger days, he was a more-than decent golfer well into his eighties and played cricket for his home town of Chorley, in the Northern League. A fan of Burnley FC, he struck up a firm friendship with the club’s colourful chairman, Bob Lord.
Four of his six children, Michael, Carolyn, Simon and Philip, have enjoyed long careers in journalism.