AS a young reporter, I once worked with a news editor who made his own suits and shirts.

Yes, really! He would buy lengths of material and spend weekends with a sewing machine at the kitchen table crafting his latest outfit.

The shirts were always white, so he must have picked up a job lot of pristine cotton at some stage, and the suits – complete with waistcoats – were invariably grey and a bit tweedy.

And they weren’t half bad. He always looked smart and there was nothing about them to suggest they were anything other than professionally made.

He was probably the best news editor I ever worked with and he taught me more in my first day on the job as a trainee reporter than I’d learned on most of my journalism course at college.

As you can probably tell, however, he was a legendary miser. I certainly don’t recall him ever buying a drink.

On one memorable occasion, I plucked up the courage to tell him I thought he was wrong about a correction to a street name he’d made in a news story I’d just written. The whole newsroom (well over 150 souls in those days) fell silent as he took a 10p piece out of his suit pocket and laid it carefully on the desk. “I think you’ll find I’m correct,” he said. “Go and get the gazetteer out of the library.”

I duly obeyed and returned to a still silent office with a barely supressed grin on my face. He studied the page and quietly slid the 10p coin across the desk towards me without a word.

I lifted the coin in the air and the whole newsroom erupted with a cheer which shook the building. It was one thing to dare to challenge the news editor and another, entirely, to take money off him. And I didn’t need to buy my own beer for at least the next fortnight….

Others may disagree but I like to think I was never quite that tight-fisted, although editors in general – who, by the way, earn nothing like what laymen (and reporters) think they do – have a reputation for short arms and deep pockets.

I can, though, be a bit of a small-scale hoarder, mainly because I dislike throwing away things that may still have value to someone else. Unlike a, now-departed, weekly newspaper editor I once knew who had filled every room in his house floor-to-ceiling with old newspapers, I like to have a clear-out at regular intervals. That usually means a visit to a charity shop with a box or two of books.

Charity shops, of course, are the ultimate recycling service. The idea of a book I enjoyed giving pleasure to someone else while, at the same time, being used to raise money for a good cause is a win-win for me. I also like rummaging around them, so if I’m giving money to charity by buying other people’s pre-loved property for my own enjoyment, I feel twice as smug.

So the new Sue Ryder “superstore” which opened last week in Baildon is high on my list of places to visit soon.

It’s also a brilliant concept. The charity, which will raise funds for the Manorlands Hospice, in Oxenhope, has taken over the former 3,000 sq ft Oddbins wine store on the Baildon Bridge retail park, off Otley Road, and will use it to sell everything from clothes to DVDs, from homeware to furniture.

The unit has been empty for some time and it has the benefit of plenty of parking so it’s a fabulous way to make use of a property that’s struggling to find a commercial use.

I don’t know what Sue Ryder’s lease terms are, but wouldn’t it be amazing if more property owners and landlords had the imagination to lend empty properties to charities at heavily-reduced rates on the basis they leave if a commercial tenant emerges?

Far better than letting them rot away until nobody wants them…

* And far better than letting them rot away by 'accident'

…TALKING of things being left to rot, Bradford Council should be ashamed of what they’ve allowed to happen to the former training college building on Mornington Road, in Bingley.

It’s seems likely this imposing 19th century building, left in trust to the Council for educational use, will now be demolished to make way for houses because they took its slate roof off in 2009 and then, apparently, forgot about it to the point where it’s effectively too late to save it. We need homes but not at the cost of “accidentally” losing good built heritage.

* Once moaning dies away, fans need to get behind new coach

WHAT I know about Michael Collins, Bradford City’s new head coach, would struggle to fill the back of a postage stamp. But I do know a lack of senior management experience is not always a bad thing.

To put that in footballing terms, look at Gareth Southgate and what he has achieved since taking over England. It could all come to nothing with this World Cup campaign but he has, at least, proved the doubters wrong with his successful record to date.

Yes, it’s a very different scenario but former under-18s coach Collins might prove to be what City needs. Whatever you think of the decision, at the very least Collins needs the fans to accept his appointment is what it is and get fully behind him. He can only do his best and it will be easier with the fans’ support.