Merseyside photographer Terry Mealey always prides himself on being ahead of the game. But when he was commissioned to take pictures at an award ceremony, at the launch of the newly formed Merseyside Media Network, he had no idea he would be picking up a prize.
As Mealey snapped the winners, Ken Bennett, the network’s secretary, pointed to him and said: “Terry, this award is for you.”
The stunned photographer handed his camera to his son Paul, who works for the family picture agency, and stepped forward to receive a jade crystal plaque for services to photojournalism.
Bennett said: “Terry is affectionately known as ‘Mister Grumpy’, a name bestowed on him by his friends and which he wears with some perverse pride. But he loves his city. He loves his profession. And, underneath his deliberately cultivated crusty exterior, he is kindness itself – as all his local and national newspaper colleagues will testify.
“He is one of the country’s finest photographers and his pictures are always creative and innovative.”
A delighted Mealey said: “I was completely gobsmacked. I had absolutely no idea this was going to happen – everyone seemed to be in on the act but me. I am pleased and proud to receive the award, particularly as it came the day after Liverpool had won the Capital of Culture bid, and in the same week as my birthday. Three out of three is a top result.”
Retired Liverpool freelance Alan Jones, former head of Delta Press Agency, received an award for services to journalism. And Jane Gallagher, a feature writer on the Liverpool Echo, was awarded a plaque for her charity fundraising efforts in completing the New York and London marathons.