Two Echo veterans chart the changes

Verity Hill and Winston Halstead, former Brighouse Echo junior reporters
Verity Hill and Winston Halstead, former Brighouse Echo junior reporters

THEIR numbers may have dwindled over the years since they started an annual reunion but two former Brighouse Echo reporters still find the time for a good old-fashioned catch-up.

Verity Hill and Winston Halstead met in Brighouse to talk about the paths their lives had taken and how things had changed in and around the town since they were both junior reporters around 50 years ago.

Verity, who would have been known in the area as Verity Donovan, recalled working from an office in Bethel Street.

“There was an editor, a deputy editor and five reporters who would each concentrate on a district in addition to their other duties.”

After leaving the Echo in the late 1950s Verity worked on various newspapers in the Devon area.

She left work to to get married and had three children and now runs a lighting business. When she retires later this year the 74-year-old is hoping to make one of her dreams come true and write children’s books.

Winston started at the Echo in 1953 with Verity and later went to work at the Telegraph and Argus in Bradford.

He eventually moved to Driffield in 1959 and became the editor of the local newspaper, The Driffield Times.

He left after five years and started his own publishing company which produced a magazine, Yorkshire Ridings.

The magazine is still published but Winston, who is 77, retired about five years ago.

Verity and Winston were among a group of editorial and advertising staff from the Echo and its sister paper, the Halifax Courier, who would meet up every year in Brighouse.

“There were originally about 15 of us. We haven’t been able to meet up just quite as often as we used to. I think this is the first time in about three or four years,” said Verity.

“When Ernest Sands, a former Brighouse Echo editor, died we didn’t meet up quite so regularly.

“Gradually over the years there has been fewer and fewer of us.

“Things have really changed here in Brighouse but nothing too different to other towns and cities.”

Winston said one of the biggest changes and shocks to him was in Bailiff Bridge which has seen the closure of Firths Carpets and its subsequent demolition.