DREW Cochrane, editor of the Largs & Millport Weekly News, has decided to retire from the local paper at the end of September.

The well-known Largs man, 61, has decided that the 40th anniversary of his editorship is an appropriate time for him to step aside from the job. However, he is to continue as editorial consultant with the company.

Longest serving Drew, who is Britain’s longest serving editor, said: “I think that 40 years in the post is a significant landmark and that I should look at putting my energy into other pursuits.

“I was the country’s youngest editor at 22 when I took over the running of the Largs paper in October, 1974 and I have been joking, in recent years, that my ambition was to become the oldest. I’m probably there now.

“When the office in Lade Street (now Paul Stevenson funeral directors) was closed at the end of 2008 I was very disappointed but continued editing from the Ayrshire Weekly Press offices in Ardrossan.” Drew, who is involved in various community organisations, is a former chairman of both the Guild of Editors and Society of Editors in Scotland, and was chairman of the Scottish committee of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

He is only the fifth editor in the 137 years history of the Largs & Millport Weekly News, having succeeded the late Mr John J McCreadie who was also long-serving after the Second World War. Drew produced a special 7000th edition in 2012 which recorded 135 years history of the newspaper.

Drew commented: “I don’t intend to put my feet up as I still feel relatively youthful but, like Monty Python which began in 1969, when I entered the world of journalism, I feel it is the right time to take my final bow. Whether my parrot has expired is open to question.”