Jack Haden - Chief reporter who spent over 50 years at the County Express

Jack Haden, who died in hospital a few days before his 89th
birthday, typified an old-fashioned journalist who cycled everywhere
and was never without his trademark beret.

He spent a lifetime working for the County Express in Stourbridge, starting as a junior in 1933 and rising to be chief reporter.

During more than 50 years on the paper, he turned down an offer of the editor’s chair as he preferred not to be desk-bound.

Jack was an acknowledged expert on the history of Stourbridge and its glass industry.

He wrote several books and founded Stourbridge Historical and Archaeological Society on his demob from Army service in 1946.

He also helped to establish the Stourbridge Glass Collection.

His war service in the Royal Army Medical Corps was not without humour.

He volunteered to have experimental ‘flu injections and to be a host for body lice.

Whenever
invited out, he took mischievous pleasure in asking his hosts if they
would like to see them. It was not as bad as it sounds because the eggs
were in a small box strapped to his arm for them to hatch.

He
also took part in two Army educational films, one showing the working
of a mobile bath unit and the other anti-malaria precautions.

But he also had to endure horrific sights as a stretcher bearer during the Allies advance into Europe.

Jack,
who reported on the town’s soccer and cricket teams, was described by
chief librarian David Hickman as “a walking encyclopedia of
Stourbridge”.

Tony Bishop

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