Members of the Oxford Mail/Times chapel, the Oxford branch committee and the NUJ National Newspapers Organiser have paid tribute to William Crossley for all the work he put in to supporting members, over several years, as Father of Chapel at the Mail and Times.
William left his job as sub on the Witney Gazette following Newsquest’s decision to move to a content management system operated by a subbing hub in Newport. His was one of around 15 subs jobs lost in this way.
At an after work gathering called to review the impact moving to the new production system was having on journalists and on the quality of the paper, NUJ National Newspapers Organiser Laura Davison thanked William for his long and dedicated contribution to his chapel and the union. “He was a really excellent FoC,” she said. “I could always depend on him to supply us with accurate and highly detailed information, and he will be greatly missed not just here in Oxford but across the Newsquest Group Chapel.”
The “few remaining subs” at the Oxford Mail/Times group put together a farewell Gazette front page where they gave testimony, in their own particular style, to William’s fastidiousness and professionalism, acknowledging also the number of stories he regularly contributed to the paper.
An “un-named newshound” is quoted as saying:
“We can now spell Royle Logistik Core any way we like and it doesn’t matter if we miss the hyphens out of Morton-in-the-Marshes. However, it’s a bit of a bugger as someone will actually have to write all the crappy bits for the Witney Gazette that William used to do himself because he couldn’t be arsed waiting.”
Anna Wagstaff, speaking on behalf of the branch, said: “We all owe William a great deal for shouldering the responsibility of being Father of Chapel at the Oxford Mail and Times at a particularly miserable time. There was no way he was ever going to agree to work with the Knowledge content management system, yet he stayed engaged and doing his best for his chapel members until his last day.”
Even after leaving the paper, William remains engaged in efforts to ensure that the chapel continues to provide an effective voice for the journalists at a very uncertain time. He has also promised to continue to catalogue the more high-profile gaffes that are published in his own local paper, The Cotswold Journal, which has been subbed by the Newport hub for more than a year now, producing some superb examples, one of which can be seen below. We can therefore look forward to remaining in regular contact.