Tributes have been paid this week to former Mearns Leader editor Joe Watson, followinghis untimely death at the age of 43.
Joe began his extraordinary career as the district reporter in Banff for the Press and Journal and at Montrose for the Dundee Courier before he became editor of the Leader in his early 20s.
He returned to the Press and Journal as agricultural editor in 1996 at the age of 26 and earned a reputation as a prolific and highly respected agricultural journalist.
Judi Martin, who was a freelance contributor to the Leader during the time of Joe’s tenure as editor, said: “Joe was my editor at the Mearns Leader for the brief period he made the switch to that local title 20 or so years ago.
“Thereafter, we’d have brief chats at Echt Show, Banchory Show, Taste of Grampian, and I would always be utterly amazed by how he managed the massive workload he did, and the travelling involved.
‘‘It often seemed like he alone contributed almost the entire farming section of the P&J single-handedly.
“It goes without saying that Joe will be hugely missed by his beloved mum, brother Fraser and all his family, but he will be missed dreadfully too by so many more of us throughout the entire North-east and well beyond.
“My thoughts are with his family - and especially his mum - at this tragically sad time, and we can only hope they can take some small comfort from knowing just how amazing a son/brother they had, and from knowing how highly regarded he truly was by so many, including me.”