Death of former Buteman reporter and Waverley enthusiast

John Easton, who has died aged 72, was a lifelong supporter of the paddle steamer Waverley who began his professional life as a trainee reporter with The Buteman.
John Easton, who has died aged 72, was a lifelong supporter of the paddle steamer Waverley who began his professional life as a trainee reporter with The Buteman.

Journalist John Easton, who began a lifelong career in newspapers as a trainee reporter with The Buteman in the late 1950s, has died aged 72 after a short illness.

Mr Easton, whose father, Peter, was manager of the town’s Co-operative store, later worked for the Hamilton Advertiser, The Scotsman and The Herald - though his greatest scoop while at The Buteman, working under the editorship of John Noddings, was his report of a call from the late Bailie Duncan Dewar for the island to declare independence from the rest of the UK, a tale which attracted worldwide media attention.

He was also a lifelong supporter of, and campaigner for, the paddle steamer Waverley, and indeed returned to his journalistic roots only last month when he penned an article - published here in abbreviated form and in full in our May 8 edition - looking ahead to the 40th anniversary of the famous ship’s first sailing in preserved ownership.

Mr Easton’s funeral will take place at Greenock Crematorium on Thursday, June 25 at 2pm.

He is survived by his wife, Morag.