Q&A: Terry Mitchinson of Welwyn & Hatfield Times

PUBLISHED: 16:53 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:59 20 February 2013

Newspaper editor Terry Mitchinson

Newspaper editor Terry Mitchinson

Newspaper editor Terry Mitchinson, 51, tells Hannah Gray about working his way to the top, the beauty of St Albans and a life-saving move from London

Newspaper editor Terry Mitchinson, 51, tells Hannah Gray about working his way to the top, the beauty of St Albans and a life-saving move from London

Tell us about your family.
I live with my partner of 25 years Carol in Welwyn village. My brother lives with his family in Welwyn Garden City. My mum also lives in the Garden City, in the same house we moved to from London almost 50 years ago. My father was killed in a car crash 13 years ago.

Do you have any pets?
Two cats, Fergie and Di.

How long have you lived in Welwyn?
We have lived in Welwyn for over 13 years, before that we had a flat in WGC. My parents moved to WGC from London when I was two; I had serious asthma and the doctors said I would die if I stayed in the city.

What is the best thing about Welwyn?
There are good pubs within staggering distance; there is still plenty of choice, though too many are eating houses as well. We are also surrounded by beautiful countryside and lovely walks.

What do you do for a living?
I have been the editor of the Welwyn and Hatfield Times series for the past 13 years, and more recently of the East Herts Herald. I joined the WHT as a junior reporter/tea boy aged 19. I have undertaken every role within the paper, including news editor and deputy editor and also, during that time, helped with the launch of a number of papers and magazines, including Hertfordshire Life.

Is there one story in your career you are most proud to have been involved with?
Numerous, but two stand out. Firstly, the WHT's successful campaign to save the QEII Hospital from closure the first time round and secondly, the launch of the Willow Foundation in which myself and the paper played a leading part.

Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
Dozens. One which looks set to remain unfilled was to see the superhospital and cancer centre built in Hatfield. One which I hope will come true is to work to make Welwyn Hatfield a better place in which to live for us all. I would also like to become a JP one day, but I don't know if they'll have me!

Have you made any New Year's resolutions, and if so, what are they?
None. I try to live by certain standards on a daily basis. Though I don't always succeed.

What are your personal hopes for 2008?
That the people of Welwyn Hatfield are not messed around over the future provision of healthcare due to hospital restructuring. That the Green Belt does not turn concrete grey. That the people I love remain healthy.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration or hero?
Greatest hero: Churchill. Greatest inspiration: Bob and Megs Wilson for setting up the Willow Foundation in memory of their daughter Anna and their unstinting work in making it such a monumental success.

Where are the best views to be had in Hertfordshire?
My favourite views are all around my home village of Welwyn because it is an area I love.

What is your favourite town in Hertfordshire and why?
St Albans, yes I know it is a city! I love the history and architecture of the place. The abbey is wonderful and the streets around it always surprising and interesting. As for an actual town, for all its faults, it has to be WGC. The first Garden City may have been Letchworth, but in the second, WGC, Ebenezer Howard really got it right.

Describe Hertfordshire in one sentence.
An ideal place in which to live, rich in culture, diverse in its towns and villages, loaded with places of interest, blessed with beautiful countryside - and full of really lovely people.

Visit the Welwyn Hatfield Times website www.whtimes.co.uk

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