Club told of journalist’s back-to-front career

Morpeth Rotary Club meeting

STEWART Bonney, editor of The Northumbrian magazine, told Morpeth Rotary Club members at a recent meeting that he had got his career the wrong way round.

His early years in the media included a spell on Fleet Street, then he later moved to working in ‘the provinces’.

Stewart worked as a journalist in Somerset, at The Journal in Newcastle and on the Daily Mail before freelancing with a number of national dailies.

He moved to Espley Hall near Morpeth in 1984 and edited the first edition of The Northumbrian in 1987. He used local talent as three of his top writers were Terry Glendenning of Beeswing Wine Cellar, retired headteacher and historian Edwin Grieve and Henry Brewis, farmer, cartoonist and Chairman of Hartburn Parish Council.

Later writers included John Grundy, Ian Kerr and Alan Potts.

As well as the literary element there was also a charitable dimension. The 10th birthday edition began a school library appeal for Ghana, a project that quickly gained the support of local Rotary clubs and the Rotary North East District.

By the time of the 25th edition, there were 50,000 readers and 12,000 subscribers with a coverage of 30 countries (although only one in China).

Articles stimulate much discussion with up to 100 letters a day.

The desperate economic times in the UK make it important to constantly look for the best and cheapest ways of producing the magazine.

One result is that there has been no increase in cost for four years.

Other ventures have included a book about Admiral Lord Collingwood for Trinity House and a book on the Delaval Family.

Stewart enjoys the work and is even writing the odd article himself.

The magazine has eight staff in total and it is based at St Peter’s Wharf in Newcastle.