My last day at the Birmingham Post was Tuesday 22 December 2009. I slid out on a farewell blog like Santa on his sleigh. Here is my heart-felt post, with added pictures, which was published in the Birmingham Post that day.
Bye bye Birmingham Post
Bye bye Birmingham Post. I have been with you for more than 21 years. In those years you have been through eight editors, gone from being a broadsheet, to a tabloid, to a broadsheet and back to a tabloid again, only we don’t call you that. You were black and white then, you’re colour now. You were a six day a week publication when I joined. Now you are a multi-media operation of which the newspaper is only a part.
In those 21 years, I have changed too. My mother has died, I’ve been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I’ve lived in community, I’ve lived on my own and I’ve lived with my family. I’ve married, I’ve had a son, I’ve had two books published and I’ve learnt to sing jazz. I’ve gone from being an angry idealist determined to change the world to someone who is content to change her little bit of it and is happier than I knew was possible – same hairstyle though.
Farewell everyone I have ever interviewed
Farewell everyone I have ever interviewed. I became a journalist because of you. It’s been an honour to hear your stories and to tell them as faithfully as I could, whatever the pressure of my deadlines or the barking of the newsdesk. There are some of you who have touched me so deeply, I will never forget you. Thank you for your trust and for making my work such a privilege.
Adieu colleagues. What can I say to you? Do you know what I respect about you? That whatever we go through – and we have been through one Hell of a lot – still the stories get written, still the deadlines get met, still the newspapers come out. Sometimes I wonder how we do it. We do it because nobody cares about journalism as much as we do. What binds us is our professionalism and our dedication to our trade. By God, I shall miss that camaraderie. Stay in touch.
Farewell to the grubby sensuality of printing
There are other things which ceased to be part of my working life some time ago, but to which I feel the need to say goodbye. Bye bye inky fingers. Ta ra to the increasing clattering of keyboards as the deadlines draw nearer. Adieu to getting on my knees in the library to pull out files of black and white photographs and rub the red crayon marks from them with the sleeve of my jumper. Farewell to the deafening clamour of newspapers rattling along overhead conveyor belts into lorries blocking Printing House Street, so we could not get out of the building. Farewell to the grubby sensuality of printing.
Bye bye, Fort Dunlop. Ta ra M6, or rather the sight of you snaking your way through the estates of Castle Vale. Farewell standing in the bitter-cold opposite Moor Street Station wondering if the Urban Splash shuttle bus will ever turn up. Goodbye ladies loos, the secrets you have heard and the lipstick applications you have witnessed. You never did get those bog brushes did you?
Au revoir journalism
Au revoir journalism. This is the one which brings a tear to my eye as I type. I leave in the hope it is “ta ra a bit” rather than goodbye for good. We will always tell stories. We will always need story-tellers. Bye bye to the traditional ways of doing it – you were great, you really were. Hello wonderfully connected new world.