STRAIGHT TALK: Farewell....and thanks

Andrew Brookes
Andrew Brookes

Anyone here will tell you I’m not normally slow to air my views on a subject. However, I’ll admit that this column has been pretty hard to write.

Tomorrow is my last day at the Spalding Guardian/Lincolnshire Free Press after four and a half years and it’ll be pretty sad to leave my desk for the last time.

It may sound like a cliché but I have genuinely enjoyed working here and meeting and speaking to many of you since checking in from Nottingham.

I’ve had plenty of fun moments to look back on – and opened myself up to my fair share of ridicule.

I posed as a pretty unconvincing toothpaste thief in Boots, a not so menacing and slightly too well dressed distraction burglar and a ‘rubbish’ litter lout to illustrate stories (perfect joke fodder for family, friends and colleagues since).

Some of you may have seen my ugly mug presenting the news online in ‘LFPTV’ a while ago too – to be honest I hope you’ve forgotten that.

While you have to remain neutral, this job does give you the chance to highlight big issues. I’d like to think I’ve done my bit on matters such as fuel poverty, youth unemployment, transport, the housing crisis, the fight for justice for nuclear test veterans and other worthy campaigns.

I’ve also tried to keep you up to speed on hot topics such as the Red Lion Quarter, the ongoing (and controversial) search for traveller sites, plus a General and district election (the ultimate battle against sleep deprivation).

I’ve covered murders and robberies too, but also helped highlight the positive stuff going on here and am proud that this paper regularly campaigns to fund/promote good causes.

I know we don’t always get it right, but I still think we put out two very good newspapers, and I’m honoured to say I’ve worked here with some very talented people.

To be honest, I was worried I might come across as big-headed by writing a farewell piece. The paper isn’t about me; it’s about you lot reading this and you’ll all be here next week (I hope) when I’m gone. In fact from now on I’ll be a reader too.

I hope I’ve done my little bit to inform and entertain since coming here as a fresh faced trainee. You’ve been very welcoming and a joy to write for. I’ll miss you.

Thank you, and goodbye.