EXAMINER stalwart John Armitage has retired after 39 years with the company.

As newspaper field sales manager, John - seen with colleagues - has been the face of the Examiner for the town's news traders.

John, of Shelley, was presented with gifts by colleagues, including a course of golf lessons. He also received a cheque from the company.

He joined the Examiner publishing department at Ramsden Street in March, 1964, after working as a chef on a Cunard liner.

His tasks included bundling and tying newspapers as they came off the press and writing down in pencil the number of papers ordered by each newsagent.

Shortly after John joined the company, an electric tying machine was introduced. In later years, orders were put on computer.

In 1967, John became deputy circulation manager.

He later became newspaper field sales manager.

John's duties included dealing with changes to newsagents' contracts, designing shop signs and helping with sales at events.

He also led the annual news deliverers' outing to Blackpool and dug out Examiner vans from snow.

John now hopes to resume his interest in golf, as well as going caravanning. He and wife Elaine have daughters Helen, Vicky and Lucy.