Scotsman legend set to retire

A LEGEND of The Scotsman newspaper has announced he is to retire, bringing to an end almost 40 years – including a 12-year break – at the paper.

Fordyce Maxwell, who is currently the paper’s rural affairs editor and a columnist, is stepping down – entirely voluntarily – on the 22nd of next month.

Maxwell, who has been The Scotsman representative on the papers’ staff forum these last four years, is not ruling out freelancing in the future, but is leaving because he believes it to be time, not least to spend more time enjoying life with his wife.

He joined The Scotsman in 1969, aged 24, as deputy farming editor, becoming farming editor six years later. But two years later, he resigned to actually farm – in the Borders, with his two brothers in 1977 – though it didn’t prevent him continuing to write.

While he was a farmer for a dozen years, he wrote, freelance, for the Herald, the Newcastle Journal, the Sunday Post, plus various local papers.

He also authored three books.

He rejoined The Scotsman in October 1989, as agricultural editor, which he has been ever since (albeit under a new name: rural affairs editor).

He has also been Diary editor – for seven years, a regular leader writer – when Magnus Linklater was editor, a regular book reviewer, feature writer, and, briefly, environment editor.

Eleven years ago, he was awarded with an MBE, for services to journalism. More recently, four years ago, his “unparalleled coverage of the foot and mouth epidemic” earned him a top UK award for farming/rural writers – the Netherthorpe Award.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society.

Fordyce says he’d be delighted to see as many journalists, past and present, as possible at the Tun, in Edinburgh, from 6pm onwards, on the 22nd.