Goodbye Norma Dewar

SCOTTISH journalism will never, ever be the same again.

Tonight Norma Dewar, the woman who kept the Daily Record desk going through thick and thin, says farewell with a leaving do in Glasgow at the Bon Accord.

I largely owe my career to Norma.

Having sent in a CV addressed to then news editor Murray Morse, only being addressed by me as Murray Moss, she had the kindness to call me up and highlight the error and suggest I might like to resubmit it for consideration.

She would wade through my expenses, book my hotels and even ensure safe passage home from the war in Kosovo without ever looking for a thank you.

Even in my last stint on Record PM, she would keep me right with all that had changed.

And as gutted as I am that she's finally leaving, I hope with all my heart that she moves on with a smile, happy memories and a chance to be appreciated for everything she did for generations of journalists.

For it truly is the end of an era.

And if I never said it before, Norma, thank you for everything.

Thanks also to reporter Ian Dow in the Record's Edinburgh office who, after 26 years with the company, brings down the curtain at Bennet's Bar in Edinburgh's Tollcross from 6.30pm tonight.

Like Norma, Ian was there at the start of my escapades with the Record in the corridor office in George Street.

It was he who showed me the dark arts of buying off teenagers with £20 to, as he put it, "fuck off and disappear" so rival papers wouldn't get his line, and ensuring a swift half would become a session.

He told me this week: "Last year they (management) gave me a watch. This year it's the bullet. Such is life."

Maybe so. But it doesn't make either of their departures any easier to wave off.

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