Columnist’s retirement is a shame

Those who have read and admired Keith Newbery’s work for the Observer over so many years will be sad he is retiring.

In a way, though, I am not! He has Betsy, his baby grand-daughter, a blessing, and wants to spend time with her. That is totally understandable. I have seven grandchildren: seven blessings. The years speed by, we have to love and enjoy them while we can.

Even so, his departure will be a wrench to all who have worked with him, and known him. Like Patrick Moore.

It was good to be reminded that Keith oversaw the newspaper’s ‘Knighthood for Patrick’ campaign, and was one of those instrumental in seeing Patrick knighted, finally, in 2001.

They were friends. Sir Patrick said to me, only recently, when Keith stopped editing the newspaper, he stopped buying it! A typical forthright remark.

I did notice, however, on looking at PM’s scrapbook not so long ago, that post-Keith’s editorship, cuttings had crept in about Within The Glade, his long-lost, finally-published little book of poems, and other books he continued to write until the end.

Along with so many of us, I wish Keith Newbery a long and happy retirement with his family.

Sandra Saer