Stonehaven man and highly respected journalist

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A Stonehaven man who became a highly-respected member of the Scottish newspaper world has died, aged 85.

John Dron – known locally by his middle name, Graham – spent his entire journalistic career on The Sunday Post becoming, in turn, sports editor, news editor and political editor.

Born on Hogmanay 1925 in Dunottar Avenue, to John (Jack) and Anna Dron, the family lived for many years at 23 Barclay Street.

A talented Mackie Academy pupil, winning medals for English and German, his writing talents were quickly recognised by his English teachers who frequently held up his work as exemplars of essay-writing.

The Second World War prevented him from taking up a place at Aberdeen University. Instead, he was sent down the mines as a ‘Bevin Boy’, where his 6ft 3in frame was ill-suited to hacking coal from 2ft seams and conscription to the army came as a relief. Swiftly transferred to the Intelligence Corps, he served in Austria in the immediate post-war period, helping track down Nazis trying to keep a low profile.

One night on sentry duty he fell asleep and was only saved from serious trouble by his sergeant-major being, like him, a Dons fan and a regular at Pittodrie.

The Sunday Post’s policy of not giving its journalists by-lines meant he was unknown to readers but much respected by colleagues, not least by generations of young reporters who learned their trade under him. He was also a famously fast and accurate editor.

As political editor he was well thought-of by politicians of all hues for his impartiality; former Father of the Commons Tam Dalyell paid tribute to him following his death at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

John was a regular Stonehaven visitor until the death of his parents. He was pre-deceased by his brother Kenneth, Rector of Brechin High School, and by wife Betty. He is survived by his children Alan, Jacqueline and David.