Former editor Pat Swift dies

A FORMER editor of the Todmorden News and Hebden Bridge Times, Pat Swift has died after a long illness.

Pat, who lived at Mount Tabor, Halifax, edited the newspapers for almost a decade but had worked as a journalist on both titles for many years before that.

She oversaw the transition of the newspapers into the digital era, when typewriters began to be packed away and on-screen make up was to become the industry standard.

Pat’s service to Calderdale’s newspapers also took in the Brighouse Echo but it was at the valley papers that she devoted almost 20 years of her career, initially working part-time under Roy Greenwood’s editorship in 1976.

Part-time work became full-time under editors Jim Dumsday and John Wheatcroft, and she took over the editor’s chair in 1987, retiring in 1995.

Among her achievements as editor were setting up Christmas toy appeals in both towns, Todmorden’s running through the 1990s and the Hebden Bridge one continuing to the present day. The appeals helped brighten the Christmas of families who would otherwise have struggled to give their children gifts.

A full tribute to Pat’s career will be included in next week’s edition.