Last words in ever changing life

When I first put finger to keyboard for the Peterborough Telegraph in 2011, it was still a daily paper and still situated in it's iconic office on Bourges Boulevard.

Sunday, 3rd December 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 6:58 am
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -

Since then the PT has moved, gone weekly in print and global on the internet.

My, how much things have changed in just six short years.

You learn as you get older though (well most people do) that change is an inevitable companion on your travels through life and that you should greet it in much the same way as a visit from the in-laws at Christmas; with good grace and a stiff drink.

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It’s going to happen, whatever you do, so just ‘smile and wave boys, smile and wave.’

My life has changed dramatically many times. At sixteen I was an apprentice coppersmith at British Aerospace by day and a summer show compere by night, morphing into a nightclub DJ, performing at Acid house parties, and all by the age of nineteen.

That boy with the double decks enjoyed an amazing journey of discovery and learning, through radio and network television, before settling back into Peterborough and finding a natural home for my voice, both on the radio and in print. Now, the wind of change has blown through my life once again and set me on a new course, one that sadly does not include writing a column in the PT every week.

I know from recent correspondence how much some people enjoy this column. I would like to think that my incoherent scribbling over the last few years has made the odd person think, shout and smile. I hope my words have entertained and above all else, made a difference in some small way.

This column has covered a wide range of issues, asking the questions that needed to be answered and poking a stick where others might not want to poke. From closing care homes to the debacle of St Michael’s Gate, Chris Turner’s sad demise and the campaign to win recognition for Walter Cornelius (which bore fruit - his weathervane is now on the Lido roof), all I ever attempted to do with my words, was to make your voice appear louder in the ears of the people that mattered.

It’s been a privilege to commit my thoughts and musings to paper and it will be strange not having to sit and stare at an empty page, a page which demands five hundred words (normally over 600! – Ed) every week. I have to pay tribute to the editor, Mark Edwards, who has rarely felt the need to alter or water down anything that I have written, no matter how contentious the subject matter, or how forthright my views.

I thank him for putting up with me and I thank you for bothering to read my rubbish.

I leave you with a truism from the legendary, Groucho Marx: “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”