Jimmy Trainor

JIMMY Trainor, who has died aged 91, was a loyal and valued member of the Down Recorder staff for fifty years and a man of the utmost integrity.

Jimmy’s passing ends one of the paper’s last links with a bygone era when printing was a craft industry.

Joining the Recorder as a 15 year-old apprentice in 1945, he rose to become works manager and a master craftsman of his trade.

He worked long hours and in the days of ‘hot metal’ the production room would be filled with the smell of ink and the fumes and heat from the clanking typesetting machines. But every week he and his colleagues ensured, through their diligence, dedication and attention to detail, that the paper hit the streets.

Jimmy’s distinguished career overlapped with the introduction of computerised typesetting, which revolutionised production methods. Jimmy moved with the times, but he never hid his fondness for the old ways and right up until his retirement in 1995 he was never happier than when operating his trusty Linotype which remains at the Recorder to this day.

He enjoyed reminiscing about the old days and would regale younger staff members, who greatly enjoyed his company and advice, with uproarious tales of the exploits of former colleagues.

Though he liked the banter and ‘craic’ of the workplace, Jimmy was an unassuming man. Never open to flattery, he took people at face value. The friends he made were friends for life. He set high standards in everything he did and was utterly trustworthy. Jimmy’s word was his bond. If he said he would do something, he would do it.

Jimmy was a Downpatrick man to his core. He was reared beside the Quoile river with his late brothers, Joey and 

Peter, and enjoyed a happy upbringing in the tranquil beauty of his surroundings.

He and Susan, his wife for 67 years, spent most of their married life in their flat in Saul Street where visitors were always made welcome. Jimmy and Susan were devoted to each other. They 

were rarely apart and were often seen walking hand in hand, their abiding love for one another clearly evident. They renewed their wedding vows only a few weeks ago.

Jimmy had many interests, particularly sport. He was a talented golfer and played to a high standard at Downpatrick Golf Club for many years. He enjoyed Gaelic football and was a faithful follower of Down teams through the years, delighting in their All-Ireland triumphs of the 1960s and the 1990s. He enjoyed travelling, though never outside of his beloved Ireland, which he once said was big enough for him.

He also had an unshakable faith, which was central to his life. Up until recently he and Susan went to mass on a daily basis. They also made many trips to the Marian Shrine in Knock.

For the last few years, Jimmy and Susan resided at Kings Castle Care Home in Ardglass where he passed away last Friday.

Fr John Murray, PP, celebrated Jimmy’s funeral mass in St Patrick’s Church on Monday, which was followed by interment in St Patrick’s Cemetery.

Jimmy will be missed by many people, not least his friends and former colleagues at the Down Recorder. 

The sympathy of the community is extended to Susan, his nephews, nieces and the family circle.