ONE of the longest-serving staff writers at The Scotsman newspaper has bid farewell, although he is to keep some connection with the title he has been with for 34 years.
Jim Gilchrist told colleagues at a farewell party on Friday evening of how he joined the paper in November 1975, as a supplements writer – meaning he has worked under 13 editors.
During his three-and-a-half decades at the title, he had once been sacked, when he and almost all his colleagues went on strike in 1987 – he even had with him the letter telling him of his dismissal (later rescinded).
While on picket duty, he enjoyed the singular success of managing to turn back a load of frozen hamburgers destined for The Scotsman canteen.
Among his many highlights was a lunch at the Ivy restaurant in London ten years ago with novelist, Peter Ackroyd, for which the bill came to well over £100 – the finance department are said to still talk about it – and a memorable helicopter trip to the Flannan Isle lighthouse.
Jim has taken early retirement, but is not entirely severing his connections with the paper; he is to continue writing a weekly music column.
In the next day’s edition of The Scotsman, he ‘half signed-off’ with with a 1,600-word feature about a gruesome murder committed in 1920: of a Jack Corbett, described as a ‘prosperous and well-respected rancher’ in Wyoming – the great-uncle of his wife, Anne.