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Tribute to Nigel Gawthrope, 1957 – 2019
We were deeply saddened to hear of the unexpected death of Nigel Gawthrope, Mayor of Cambridge, who tragically died on Friday, 11 January 2019, aged 61. Nigel had a very long and committed career in the printing division at Cambridge University Press (the Press), spanning almost 40 years from October 1974 to June 2012.
Nigel joined the Press as an apprentice book binder. As Father of the Chapel from 1984, he represented fellow print workers for nearly 30 years and had attended conferences around the world to talk about this role in the context of the UK print industry. He was very active in the negotiations over the end of printing at the Press and the transfer to MPG Printgroup.
Kevin Taylor, Director of Syndicate Affairs at the Press, said: ‘Nigel was a very friendly and popular colleague. He took his Union duties as Father of the Chapel seriously, always with a view to supporting other people. He used to speak eloquently about the massive changes he’d seen in the transition from letterpress to lithography and later to digital, and in the transformation from a family-oriented business based on print apprenticeships to the publishing-dominated Press of later years.’
Roddy MacLean, Production Controller at the Press and former colleague, said: ‘Nigel was a man of principle who richly deserved the position of Mayor of Cambridge. He fought endless battles as Father of the Chapel at the Press. It was a difficult job and very difficult to please everybody, but he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and to question decisions. His position as Mayor of Cambridge had not changed him. He was still the same Nigel through and through.’
Nigel had been a City councillor for seven years, after he was first elected in 2012 to represent King’s Hedges ward and was re-elected in 2016.
Our thoughts are with Nigel’s family and friends at this sad time.
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