Ken Ashton has been a journalist most of his life, working on national, evening and local newspapers; he’s been a sports writer, covering major events, won press awards and even found time to be mayor of Prestatyn. He took a change of direction in 1990 and became a journalism tutor and now spends many happy hours passing on his wisdom and experience.
Paul Bannister watched his career decline from its peak in 1962 at the Lancashire Journal series through trade magazines, Morning Telegraph, Sheffield and Daily Mail, Manchester to its nadir at the National Enquirer, Florida. He presently freelances in Oregon and is presently unsuccessfully peddling his memoirs.
Revel Barker started writing for money while at school. He worked for the Yorkshire Evening Post, freelanced at LondonAirport, and joined the Daily Mirror as district man at 20. He moved to the Sunday Mirror on investigations, defence and foreign and was NUJ convenor for MGN. He became ‘editorial adviser’ to Robert Maxwell and had management roles on all Mirror titles.
Brian Bass began his working life on weekly papers, later worked for the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Observer and, for the last 28 years of his employed life, the Daily Mirror, where he was associate night editor, production editor, assistant to the editor and features editor (twice). He now specialises in the freelance production of newspapers and magazines.
Ian Bradshaw is a former winner of the World Press Photo award for his famous photograph of the Twickenham streaker. He joined The Times in 1966 and was a staff photographer on the Sunday Mirror in the early 70’s. He has worked for all the major colour magazines and picture edited the Glasgow Herald, Telegraph colour magazine and The Observer. He now specialises in education at Universities across America.
After starting on the Craven Herald & Pioneer, Colin Dunne’s career took him to Tyneside’s Evening Chronicle and thence to Daily Mirror features where he achieved fame as a writer about anything that was daft. He left to write books (he has published seven novels) and to freelance for The Times, Radio Times, YOU magazine and womens mags and newspaper colour supplements. He now lives in Sussex with his fan club, Mrs Dunne.
Garth Gibbs worked on the Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg and the Evening Post in Port Elizabeth before helping to launch a newspaper in Zambia in 1966. He moved to England in 1969 where he worked for Reuters, the Evening News and for the Daily Mirror (more than 20 years). He travelled extensively before becoming the Mirror royal correspondent and later a columnist.
Based on nine years as a copy and layout editor/headline writer at the National Enquirer, Jack Grimshawbelieves he’s had more fiction published than Stephen King. Appearing, through the years, on the dean’s list or the shit list at the Salford City Reporter; Western Daily Press; Manchester Evening News; Sports Form (Las Vegas) and OC Weekly (Southern California), he now writes and smokes a daily cigar in Orange County.
Harold Heys was the school bookie at Darwen Grammar and wanted to become a racing correspondent. He joined the Blackburn Telegraph at 16 and went on to have more than 20 years on the Sunday People in Manchester. He retired a few years ago as editorial systems manager for Newsquest, Lancashire. He keeps his hand in writing features for Lancashire Magazine and teaching English to asylum-seekers.
Liz Hodgkinson joined the Sunday People in 1973 as a fashion and feature writer. She left on New Year's Eve 1977, and then worked for the Sun, Daily Mail and The Times. She has been a freelance journalist and author for many years now and is the author of more than 50 books. To find out more, visit Liz's website, www.lizhodgkinson.com
Alun John worked in succession for The Western Mail, Press Association, Associated Press, Evening Standard, Mail on Sunday, Independent and The European winning a couple of awards on the way. He left Fleet Street at its (and possibly his own) prime and has spent the last ten years training journalists and acting as a publishing consultant in 14 different countries.
Patrick O’Gara was at the Daily Mirror from 1962 to 1984. He then worked briefly for Today, Hello! magazine and The Star. In 1989 he joined, and later edited, The Blade, in Toledo, Ohio, USA until retiring in 2003. He now lives with his wife, a dog and six chickens in Moratinos, Spain.
Eddy Rawlinson worked as a photographer and engraver at the Burnley Express. Joined the Manchester Evening News then the Daily Express as a photographer and later northern publicity manager. Left to start the first free motoring paper in Britain, subsidised by running a pub. Joined the Daily Mirror as a photographer and retired as northern picture editor.
Geoffrey Seed (Daily Mail 1969-74) was a producer with World in Action, Channel 4, Panorama and ITV, specialising in crime and politics. His first novel, A Place of Strangers (Revel Barker Publishing) was inspired by a tantalising story of post-war vengeance told by a retired diplomat but which no amount of air miles or meticulous research could ultimately stand up.
Ian Skidmore has worked in every manifestation of the media, usually as a columnist. He fulfilled his early promise by being been sacked from trade magazines, news agencies, weekly and evening newspapers, provincial and national dailies, TV and the BBC. It gave him the leisure to write 26 books, most of which were published. He married a journalist, Celia Lucas, and has fathered a dynasty, all more successful than he was.
John Smith began as a messenger in the London offices of Westminster Press, then went to the Muswell Hill Record, the Paddington Mercury, the Brighton Evening Argus, the Bristol Evening World, the Daily Sketch, the Daily Herald, the Daily Mirror in London and New York and finally to The People where he did a globe-trotting column as Plain John Smith.
Bob Waterhouse was a features sub and reporter with the Guardian in Manchester during the 1960s. Turning freelance, he launched the Withington Reporter (1978) and North West Times (1988). He was also launch editor of North West Business Insider (1991) and the North West Enquirer (2006). His book about Manchester national newspaper history, The Other Fleet Street, was published in 2004.
Don Walker,born in the East End of London, worked on the St Pancras Chronicle, in Camden. Joined the Daily Mirror as a casual from the Reading Evening Post in 1964 and as a staff sub in 1966. A feature writer on the Mirror for 10 years from 1968 he returned to subbing in the seventies. Chief sub in features in the eighties, and group systems editor from 1986 until retirement in 2000.
The deadline is the Sunday before publication (the site is updated on Fridays). And yes, we appreciate that a little bit of deadline adrenalin often helps, but very few of the stories are time-sensitive and we have other things we could be doing during the week.
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