Rantings

Rantings

Issue # 175

This Week Prolific journalist that he is – and there have been very few days when at least one of his stories didn’t appear in some publication, somewhere – Arnie Wilson’s by-line is probably more familiar to readers of the Financial Times (where he has written most Saturdays in winter

Rantings

Issue # 171

This Week We’re indebted to Dermot – ‘there’s an awful lot of copy in Brazil’ – Purgavie for drawing our attention to a piece by Conrad Black who has reviewed three books for a website of which he’s described as ‘publisher emeritus’. It contains Black’s unique insight into the world

Rantings

Issue # 168

This Week You’ll be sick of hearing, by now, that it’s the 50th anniversary next week of the closure of the News Chronicle and the London evening Star. But there are two other significant closure dates that were overlooked in all that excitement. The Empire News (founded 1884 as The

Rantings

Issue # 167

This Week Attentive readers will be more than aware that this month marks the 50th anniversary of the demise of the News Chronicle. It is also, inevitably, the 50th anniversary of the closure of London’s then third evening paper, the Star. And across the years the date has been marked

Rantings

Issue # 166

This Week We gave old News Chronicle hands early warning, as long ago as August, that there’s to be a reunion this month to mark the 50th anniversary of the day the paper folded. It’s £25 ahead for lunch, and has been partly subsidised by a raffle of old Chron

Rantings

Issue # 165

This Week Newspapers are in such turmoil that former Fleet Street editor Brian Hitchen and I (pick a job title – I’ve probably done it) are setting up as consultants to help them out of the mire. Our advice has already been sought by the editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Rantings

Issue # 163

This Week Lunch may not be the same thing as journalism but to many of us, including this writer, there was a time when the two were almost inextricably linked. It’s therefore a delight to welcome, as the latest addition to the Ranters menu of journalism-related books and as a

Rantings

Issue # 162

This Week A couple of weeks ago we were asked by a reader (in Australia) whether anybody could define what a journalist is. Quick as a flash, Bernard Long replied (from Malaysia) that decades ago, when he was nobbut a lad on t’Batley News, he was told that a journalist

Rantings

Issue # 161A

Gordon Amory died on Tuesday August 21. A constantly cheerful, conciliatory and loyal friend. Not a guy to complain about life or anything really, Revel Barkerremembers. Except, one afternoon… ‘You won’t get a chance like that again,’ Gordon’s headmaster told him. And, as Clive Crickmer, chronicling Gordon’s chaotic professional life,

Rantings

Issue # 161

Another death in the Ranters family… Gordon Amory died in hospital at the weekend, following a short illness. Like Stanley Blenkinsop, his old colleague and closest friend for more than half a century, he’d been a founder (pre-launch) supporter and contributor to this website. There are tributes to him –

Rantings

Issue #160

This Week So… what’s a journalist? The question was raised Down Under this week, Bruce Elder reports, with a politician purporting to act as one. What it’s not, as Richard Burton explains, is somebody who just understands IT (or what we once, in our excitement, called New Technology). Somebody who’d

Rantings

Issue # 159

This Week Two former Fleet Street editors, generations apart and even more distant in terms of manner and style, have written about a book we published last month. Roy Greenslade – obviously – was writing for his Media Guardian column. But Hannen Swaffer…? Swaffer was a devout spiritualist who claimed

Rantings

Issue # 158

This Week Following our fascination with the history of The Street (last week) we have two pieces from the archives. Coincidentally, they’re both from the News of the World (and, you might think, about time, too). Former librarian David Webb delved into the old files on a quiet night and

Rantings

Issue # 158

This Week Following our fascination with the history of The Street (last week) we have two pieces from the archives. Coincidentally, they’re both from the News of the World (and, you might think, about time, too). Former librarian David Webb delved into the old files on a quiet night and

Rantings

Issue # 157

Stanley Blenkinsop, 1931-2010 Below, Gordon Amory mourns the loss of a close colleague and a cherished friend for more than half a century. Revel Barker celebrates Stan the ‘perversely puritan’ gambling man, the military historian, English gentleman, inveterate letter-writer and self-styled cantankerous old bastard. Tony Brooks remembers his boss on

Rantings

Issue # 156

This Week ‘Lovely stuff today’… ‘Just what Ranters is all about!’… ‘Tip-top edition this week’… ‘These contributions took me back decades’… ‘Great pieces’… We don’t normally get much feedback at Ranter House so it’s a pleasant change to receive messages like that about the website last week – even if

Rantings

Issue # 155

This Week We passed our third anniversary as a website this week – a massive thank-you to all our loyal contributors – and celebrate the birthday with a string of stories about Harry Procter, one of the truly great reporters of distant memory. Almost needless to say, there’s a book

Rantings

Issue # 154 – Vintage Bentley

Vintage Bentley By Harry Nuttall David Baird’s amusing recollection of Bill Anderson getting a second bite at the wonderfully staged tale of trench vets sinking their pints in a hole in the road, reminded me of a pal of mine who got a dozen consecutive stories out of a pile

Rantings

Issue # 154 – Through a glass, deeply

Through a glass, deeply By Cathy Couzens Who else remembers the handsome Sun reporter who moved house but forgot to tell his brain? He caught the train home as usual (we always wondered how that was accomplished) then got a cab to drop him off at the house. As usual,

Rantings

Issue # 154 – All our yesterdays

All our yesterdays By Gordon Amory I didn’t know it then but I was socially advantaged to have worked for the Shields Evening News which must have been one of the smallest daily newspapers around at that time – and it had served the local community for a hundred years

Rantings

Issue # 154

This Week Justin Stares’ excellent debut novel (in fact it’s a lightly novelised biography), launched here on July 25, was being offered on the Internet this week at the somewhat astonishing price of £443.99. But you can buy it for a saving of £434 by clicking here or going to