Back Issues 24.04.03

Jon Slattery trawls the archives to look at what was making Press Gazette headlines in 04.68

One for all and all for one

Industrial correspondents from newspapers showed solidarity with their television colleagues by walking out of the annual conference of the Amalgamated Engineering and Foundry Workers’ Union in Eastbourne. The walk-out was prompted by the union’s decision to ask TV crews to leave. Geoffrey Goodman, of The Sun, said when the crews were asked to leave: “At once two dozen industrial reporters joined themÉ it was a demonstration by all, including myself, who felt that this was discrimination.”

Cooke’s milestone

Alistair Cooke was home from the US to celebrate the thousandth BBC broadcast of his Letter from America.

Reuters ahead of the rest

A world scoop was claimed by Reuters for the news that North Vietnam was ready to meet US representatives for peace talks.

Errol Flynn of footie

A series of articles in The People by Bobby Thompson of Stockport County – described by the paper as the “Errol Flynn of Football” – had upset the Football League. So much so that Alan Hardaker, secretary of the League’s management committee, requested all 92 League clubs withdraw all press facilities, hospitality and co-operation from staff members of The People.

Fire fails to halt messenger

A fire severely damaged the Kent Messenger’s Maidstone presses and cut the electricity supply. Staff worked by candlelight until current was restored. All the editions were printed as normal.

Jag for ‘The boys’

Jag, a new weekly for boys was launched by Fleetway. It boasted a big page size of 15ins by 11.75ins and included the Bobby Moore book of the FA Cup. A new weekly tabloid – The Union Jack – was also planned for the British forces in West Germany.

A brief engagement

In the days when newly married couples got tax rebates there was a last minute rush for weddings before the Budget. It led to the Essex Chronicle publishing a record 56 wedding pictures. Most of the reports and captions were written by a new recruit, 16-year-old Julie March.

Times gets a mauling

The front page of Press Gazette featured action from a rugby match between The Sunday Times and The Observer. It reported: “Clashes between rival Sundays are normally no-holds barred affairs. But not a drop of ink – and only a little blood – was shed when the Times’ rugger team took on The Observer.” For the record The Sunday

Times lost 18-0. Not surprising when The Observer was able to field two internationals, Clem Thomas of Wales and Mickey Grant of Scotland.

Cap ‘P’ pretty, pretty please

Douglas May, editor-in-chief of the Bedfordshire Times Group, was writing to Press Gazette bemoaning the way the magazine failed to cap up “press”. He wrote: “I have often thought it is a great pity that UK Press Gazette does not give the word ‘press’ the dignity of the initial cap which I feel it deserves as the Fourth Estate (and if we cannot get it from you, how can we expect to get it from other publications?).”

No tie, no vino

Perrott Phillips, new editor of Titbits, complained in the letters page about his treatment at El Vino’s. “I went into El Vino’s to buy celebration champagne for some friends,” he wrote. “To my bewilderment, they refused to serve me. The reason? I was wearing a fashionable turtle neck shirt ˆ la Lord Snowdon and therefore technically tieless. So much for the last haunt of Fleet Street bohemianism.”

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