FEW journalists, either national or local, can measure up to the stature of Clive Crickmer, whose death at the age of 71 was announced in The Northern Echo (Wednesday, Oct 12).

Over half-a-century in journalism, our paths crossed infrequently, but they were permanently linked by an apprenticeship as junior reporters working together for the Newcastle Journal, Evening Chronicle and Sunday Sun at the branch office in Ocean Road, South Shields.

Then later, when Clive was a reporter with the Daily Mail and myself a sub-editor with the Daily Mirror in Manchester, which he was later to join as its reporter in Newcastle, following in the footsteps of the legendary Rupert Morters.

At that time The Daily Mirror, with the biggest circulation, was arguably Britain’s greatest newspaper. The likes of columnist Cassandra and women’s editor Marjorie Proops graced its pages.

But what made the Mirror special was the way its reporters built up contacts and dug out news stories with great skill. At this, Clive was the consummate professional.

Much criticism has been vented on the newsgathering antics of today’s tabloid press.

None of this could possibly rub off on the likes of Clive Crickmer.

John Hobbs, ex-Daily Mirror.