About the Founder

Embarking on a new Cotswold adventure: Journalist David Wood."The Cotswolds has never seen anything like it!"

That is not, strictly speaking, a direct quote I've heard anyone say (yet), but it is the general reaction I'm hoping for from visitors to the Loving the Cotswolds website.

I have long had a love affair with the Cotswolds, ever since I took on the role of district reporter for the Cotswold Journal weekly newspaper in the early 1990s, when I found myself working from the Old Slaughterhouse, the Journal's former district office in Corders Lane, Moreton-in-Marsh, where the meat hooks still hung from the ceiling.

Later on, I spent a year in 1993 covering the Cotswolds for the Gloucestershire Echo from its former office in Stow-on-the-Wold where I enjoyed my finest (well, certainly my most comical) hour in my local newspaper reporting career.    
 
I received an excited call from the Echo's head office in Cheltenham saying they'd heard the legendary comedian Norman Wisdom was apparently staying at the Eight Bells Inn in Chipping Campden and they wanted me to get an interview with him.

I felt slightly daunted, as memories of those classic black-and-white Norman Wisdom comedies I used to watch as a child started flashing through my mind. But I plucked up the courage to phone the Eight Bells and explain who I was and, when the receptionist confirmed that Norman was indeed staying with them, I asked whether it might be possible to have a quick word with him.

The receptionist kindly put me through to his room and I remember a little voice on the other end of the phone saying: "Hello?"

I said "Hello, is that Norman?"
The late Sir Norman Wisdom, who I never actually met, but my telephone interview with him in the bath certainly caused a splash!
A voice replied "Yes, but I'm in the bath!"

I obviously have no photographic evidence to prove that I am not making all this up. But I am fairly convinced I was the only reporter ever to interview the late Sir Norman Wisdom while he was lying in the bath.

There is one other particularly memorable interview I carried out while working for the Cotswold Journal, and on this occasion I do have photographic evidence. We had heard that there was a lady in a remote Cotswold village a few miles from Stow-on-the-Wold who apparently kept a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig as a pet in her kitchen. 

I was asked to 'get the scoop' and I somehow managed to locate this farmhouse and keep a relatively straight face while interviewing the owner about her beloved pig (which kept nudging me under the table, as can be seen in the photo below).

With those two "scoops" under my belt, I felt I couldn't really top that as a local reporter, so I moved up a notch on the journalistic ladder and became a sub-editor.
Cotswold reporter David Wood 'back in the day' trying to conduct an interview in the presence of a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig.
 
This new role involved me designing pages for a variety of mainly Worcestershire-based newspapers, desperately trying to write catchy headlines that would make people smile...until, that was, a few years ago when one of our very dull bosses decided to ban puns from all headlines because, he claimed, readers don't like them.

Despite this, I was still quietly proud to have risen to become chief sub-editor of the Evesham Journal and its sister paper the Cotswold Journal until January 2014 when I was one of more than a dozen Worcester-based sub-editors to be rather tragically made redundant when the work was shifted to Newport, South Wales. In an instant, decades of devotion and precious local knowledge was thrown on the local newspaper scraphead to save the American owners a few dollars.

With the rise and rise of the internet coinciding with the decline of print journalism and, subsequently, a fall in advertising revenues, the internet was in many ways the reason so many 'old school' journalists have been made redundant in recent years. 

So launching the Loving the Cotswolds is my way of fighting back against the system and hopefully producing something that will become an established part of life in the Cotswolds for many years to come.
  
I sincerely hope that you'll love Loving the Cotswolds too, and you might even feel prompted to "share the love" with your friends and contacts and let them know about our new website. 

David Wood
© Loving The Cotswolds. 2017.