Nostalgia: Who remembers delivering the Fife Leader?

Fife Leader - an army of delivery boys and girls helped get the paper into houses. They included Michael Watson, Craig Watson and Angela Forrester, all aged 14, who helped deliver the very first edition in March 1981
Fife Leader - an army of delivery boys and girls helped get the paper into houses. They included Michael Watson, Craig Watson and Angela Forrester, all aged 14, who helped deliver the very first edition in March 1981

The Fife Leader was a big part of our Kirk Wynd story.

It was our free newspaper which ran for over 20 years, and played an important part in the company’s portfolio.

Launched on March 3, 1981, it created a large, and very loyal readership.

At one stage it was 
distributed to 49,000 homes in the region, netting a readership of over 100,000.

The Leader was the first newspaper to be launched in the Kingdom for 20 years, and it was edited by Malcolm L. Campbell.

His opening column said it was born “into a newspaper world of great uncertainty” – words which remain just as valid in 2018.

The Leader had its own news team, which included Ken Macdonald, now with BBC Reporting Scotland.

It went on to be served by Rita Ross, who became its second editor – the first female editor to be appointed by the newspaper group too – Myra Philp, Carol McNeill, Susan Nicholson, and Richard Arnold.

The Leader featured lots of lifestyle content, but it also had its own team of reporters – stories weren’t shared with the Fife Free Press despite 
being on the same floor at Kirk Wynd!

It started out with eight pages and grew to 30 pages per week.

It needed an army of 200 delivery boys and girls to put copies through all the doors – while there was always a constant stream of visitors to the Kirk Wynd office to pick up a spare copy or two.

Each week the paper averaged a dozen complaints over non-delivery, which was pretty good considering it was handling nearly 50,000 copies!

As the paper became established, it added a music column, Off The Record with ‘Winston’ – penned by Tom Swinton at Kirkcaldy YMCA.

But its biggest claim to fame were its holidays.

Every week, hundreds of Fifers booked coach trips which took them across the UK and into Europe.

The Leader also replaced the Fife Advertiser and produced a north edition before finally bowing put in the mid 2000s.