End of an era for Beccles and Bungay Journal team

Beccles and Bungay Journal team David Lennard, louisa Lay, amy Smith and Nick Butcher

Beccles and Bungay Journal team David Lennard, louisa Lay, amy Smith and Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

It’s the end of an era at the Beccles and Bungay Journal office.

Editor David Lennard, 62, is retiring after 40 years working for Archant, the company that publishes the Beccles and Bungay Journal, and is being replaced by 23-year-old senior reporter Amy Smith.

Meanwhile senior reporter Louisa Lay, 33, is expecting her second child and will go on maternity leave next week for up to a year.

The trio have responsibility for news across the Waveney patch, as well as for our sister paper the Eastern Daily Press.

David began his career with the East Anglian Daily Times in Ipswich before moving to Halesworth as chief reporter for the north Suffolk patch.

In 2005 he moved to the Lowestoft office as chief reporter of the Lowestoft Journal and has been editor of the Beccles and Bungay Journal for the past four years.

As he approaches his 63rd birthday he feels now is the time for a change and is looking forward to his retirement and spending more time with his wife Valerie, two children and six grandchildren.

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He said: “I have really enjoyed my time with the Beccles and Bungay Journal and I would like to thank everyone for their help, support and assistance. It really has been a fantastic patch to work on and it has been a pleasure getting to know our readers in this super area on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.

“I will really miss the role, but I know Amy will take the paper forward and I wish her every success.”

Amy, who was born and bred in Beccles, is a former Sir John Leman High School pupil and joined the team in Beccles in September 2013.

She previously worked at the Diss Express for three years.

She is one of the youngest editors the company has ever appointed.

She said: “Growing up in Beccles it had always been my ambition to work for the Beccles and Bungay Journal and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to edit the paper and bring in some of my own ideas.

“Over the past year I have enjoyed working alongside David, Louisa and our photographer Nick, who have welcomed me as part of the team and helped me to develop as a reporter.

“As I take on this new challenge I look forward to meeting and hearing from our readers in Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth, Loddon and all the villages in between, to keep the Beccles and Bungay Journal at the heart of the community.”

Louisa has worked for the company in various roles, including editor, in Beccles, Lowestoft and Norwich for 13 years.

She has worked part-time for the past three years since having her daughter Imogen and is expecting her second child next month.

She said: “We really have had a great little team here in Beccles and have genuinely all enjoyed working together, both as colleagues and friends.

“I want to wish both Amy and David every success in their new ventures and thank our readers for allowing me to bring their stories to the page.

“I look forward to returning in the future, but I have a feeling the next 12 months will keep me pretty busy!”

Louisa’s last day in the office will be Tuesday and David will retire on February 27.