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Where it all began for me

THIS, folks, is where my newspaper career began.

The art deco Chronicle and Echo office on Northampton's famous Market Square was second home to me for nearly four years in the early 1960s.

It was there that I was taught the rudiments of the journalistic craft, rising from junior reporter to gossip columnist before I left to join the Nottingham Evening Post in 1964.

In those days, the evening Chronicle boasted a 56,000 circulation. Its sister weekly, the Mercury and Herald, was the 'bible' of Northamptonshire farmers.

The company's glossy monthly, The Northampton Town and County Independent, was the county's answer to Country Life.

I worked on all three during my time there, as broad a journalistic training as you could get at the time. I remember those days with affection.

Unfortunately, the building was demolished in 1978 to make way for a big shopping development. The paper moved into spanking new offices which have now also been demolished to be replaced by an Aldi supermarket.

Nowadays the Chronicle is a weekly, and the Mercury and Independent are no more.

As Bob Dylan sang all those years ago, the times they are a'changing.

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