Tributes paid to Gazette stalwart Stan

Stan Oliver
Stan Oliver

A former long-serving Shields Gazette journalist and deputy editor, Stan Oliver, has died.

Mr Oliver, who lived for many years at Harton, was 90 and had been in ill-health for some time.

He joined the old Northern Press, former publishers of the Gazette, just after the end of the Second World War. Prior to that he had served in the Royal Marines and trained as a Commando.

He first worked as a reporter on the Blyth News before moving to the Shields Gazette under the editorship of Frank Staniforth. He subsequently became a sub-editor, eventually rising to become deputy to editors Jim Sinton and, later, Michael Blackah.

He was also acting editor of the paper for a time, during a period of transition, before finally retiring in the mid-1980s.

Born in Gosforth, he moved with his family to South Shields as a child, to be closer to his father’s accountancy office in King Street.

His father, Charles Oliver, represented Westoe Ward on South Shields Council and he and his wife, Eva, served as Mayor and Mayoress between 1951 and 1952.

As a boy, Mr Oliver attended Tonstall School in Sunderland. After war broke out he continued his education at Clifton House School, Harrogate, and finally at Rugby, before joining the Marines.

Retired Gazette features writer Janis Blower said: "Stan was a newspaperman to his bones and cared passionately about the paper and about the role of the local press in the community.

"He had very high standards and, as such, was an exacting but effective mentor for young journalists who, as they progressed, also came to know him as a supportive colleague and staunch friend.

"He never lost interest in the job. After his retirement he continued to channel stories to the paper and always followed it closely.

"He’ll be remembered with great affection and respect by many."

The funeral service will be held at South Shields Crematorium on Tuesday, December 12, at 3.30pm and afterwards at the Sea Hotel.

Mr Oliver, whose wife Betty died in 1983, leaves a sister, Eva.