Ted Lacey, who started his newspaper career by scrubbing the front step of the offices of The Citizen, Gloucester, and retired as assistant editor, has died aged 92.
Edward Lacey was born in Gloucester and, aged 14, answered an advert in The Citizen in for “a boy to take out parcels, and make himself generally useful”.
His starting salary was eight shillings (40p) a week and his duties included scrubbing the front step of the St John’s Lane office. His career at The Citizen lasted 51 years.
Within three years, he had transferred to the editorial department and become a general reporter, and later sub-editor and sports editor. At a concert organised by The Citizen, he met Phyllis James, whom he married in 1936. They celebrated their diamond wedding in 1996.
Lacey went to Algiers for three years during the Second World War as part of an RAF supply team. On his return to The Citizen, he was made chief sub in 1948 and assistant editor in 1969, retiring in 1975.
Citizen reporter Hugh Worsnip, who worked with him for 13 years, said: “Chief sub was then the most stressful job on a newspaper which was producing four editions a day and could be changed in 20 minutes. He had to assess and cope with copy flowing from local, national and international sources and plan all the editions in constantly changing circumstances. Yet he very rarely lost his cool. He was a man completely on top of his job.”
Lacey is survived by his wife, Phyllis, daughter, Hilary Price, and grandchildren Nicola and Martin.