Saxilby and District History Group

I found this article amongst some papers just received. I can remember him well, and I wonder how many others can! I seem to recall my Dad calling him “poorly Harrison” but I don’t know why. Can anyone enlighten me? I don’t know the date of this article, but we think he died on December 8th 1978 aged 89.  - Betty East

Walter Harrison - Village news was his hobby.

A hobby that had its beginnings as a schoolboy ambition to write for a newspaper, extended into nearly 40 years association with the Lincolnshire Chronicle by village correspondent Mr. W. Harrison,    of 84 High Street, Saxilby, who last week decided to retire and take things easy.

Mr. Harrison had always wanted to be a reporter but his father put him into the grocery and drapery trade after he left school. He thought no more about it until one day when he was attending a parish council meeting in Saxilby in the early 1930’s the vicar, who was then the correspondent for the Chronicle, asked him if he would like to take over the job.

He has been the correspondent ever since that day and has enjoyed every minute of it. “I have regarded it as a hobby. I find it very interesting meeting people - being serious at a funeral one day and happy at a wedding the next. I have no other hobbies apart from the occasional crossword.”

He said that he had decided to give it up because winter and advancing years (he would not tell us his age) were coming on and he wants to have a rest. “I’ve had a long spell --- it will give someone else a chance.”

It seemed strange to Mr. Harrison that he was being interviewed after 40 years of interviewing other people. He said that in the days when he was on the parish council he knew nearly everyone in the village, but now he hardly knows anyone. He has kept records of most of his work back to 1937 and says that he was reporting local events for some years before that. He wrote his first article when he was 14, in the days before he became correspondent. It was a report on a church festival.

He saw active service in the First World War and in the Second World War he was a member of the Royal Observer Corps. At the time Saxilby Bridge was built he was clerk to the parish council and he still has the spade used by Ald. T. Lobley to turn the first sod.

Now at the end of his association with the Chronicle, Mr. Harrison is looking forward to a long rest. “Forty years is a long time,” he said.” I need a rest”.

Further information received leads us to believe that Mr Harrison was gassed during World War I, and never totally recovered from the effects - hence the nick-name.