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Grimsby’s greatest gossiping grandad dies aged 85

Peter Chapman, a journalist who wrote the Grimsby Telegraph’s long-running daily gossip column for 33 years, has died after a short illness aged 85.

Chapman was one of only three writers of the Odd Man Out column over the course of its 83 years in print.

The column, a light-hearted look at the “inconsequential but interesting bits and bobs” of life in the Grimsby area, was first launched in 1938 and ran until Peter’s retirement in 2021.

The columnist first joined the paper, then known as the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, as a junior reporter in 1958, returning in the late 70s following a stint in Fleet Street and a spell running an antique shop.

Chapman also wrote a book about his employer, entitled 100 years of the Grimsby Telegraph, and even featured on BBC1’s The One Show when it dedicated a slot to the many delights of Grimsby.

Peter Craig and Lucy Wood wrote the paper, now Grimsby Live’s tribute piece to its long-serving employee, describing his death as “the end of an era.” The piece went on: “Peter loved his hometown and the surrounding area and touched the lives of its people through his definitive writing and unrivalled knowledge of the rich history of the area… He had a few lifetimes, all rolled into one.”

Chapman wrote his final column, by then known as Odd Man’s Week, in October 2021. He is survived by his wife, Annie, two children and several grandchildren.

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