Bob Randall, former editor of The Sentinel, Stoke-on-Trent, and the Evening Telegraph, Derby, was a journalist from the old school.
Dignified and unassuming, he held his readers in the same high esteem as they held him.
He took North Staffordshire and its people to his heart when he took the helm of the Evening Sentinel in 1973.
In all the tributes which have poured in since his death at his Norfolk home at the age of 81, everyone remembered him as one of life’s true gentlemen.
He is fondly remembered as “Gentleman Bob” by the civic leaders and leading industrialists he rubbed shoulders with on a regular basis.
Randall was editor of the Evening Sentinel when it moved from its base in Foundry Street, Hanley, to its present headquarters in Etruria.
He oversaw the complex relocation ahead of his retirement, a year later.
Highly respected as a navigator in the RAF, he oversaw the transfer of The Sentinel operation with a military precision that would have impressed the generals who planned the D-Day landings.
The move took place over three days — 12, 13 and 14 April, 1986.
On the 15th, the first Sentinel produced at Etruria was printed when Randall, assisted by managing director Max Hallas and director John Murray, started the Goss presses, capable of producing 60,000 copies an hour.
At one stage of his illustrious newspaper career, Randall was also editor of The Sentinel’s sister paper, Derby’s Evening Telegraph, where he had previously worked as assistant editor.
He regularly commuted to Hanley
and Derby to edit both papers from his family home in Leek.
He was regarded as a giant of a man both physically and morally, and never flinched from his commitment to the public interest.
He was held in the highest regard by all his colleagues, from the managing director down.
Bob was a first-class newspaperman and an excellent editor, who could always be relied on to be fair and honest and to lead from the front.
He also had a very genuine respect for his readers. He was a keen supporter of amateur dramatics, and he loved football and gardening.
Randall spent his early career working on newspapers in Wiltshire, where he grew up.
He was appointed editor of the Evening Sentinel in May 1973 and came to the Potteries from Derby, where he had been assistant editor of the Evening Telegraph.
Born at Trowbridge, he was educated at Trowbridge Boys’ High School. He joined the Wiltshire Times in 1940 and volunteered for the RAF in 1942.
Called up in 1944, he served as a navigator for three years, and then returned to the Wiltshire Times.
Randall worked for East Midlands Allied Press at Kings Lynn and the Evening Telegraph, Northants, before going to Derby in 1951.
He retired in June 1987 and edited The Grapevine, a magazine for pensioners run by Northcliffe.
Bob and his wife Audrey had moved to Norfolk to be closer to their family.
He leaves Audrey, daughter Mary, son Jim and five grandchildren.
Courtesy of The Sentinel