Reunion for Nottingham Evening Post journalists in three-year strike

A group of former Nottingham Evening Post journalists who went on strike for three years 30 years ago met up again for an anniversary reunion this week.

They travelled from all over the country – and toasted the other journalists and trade union members who gave them inspiring support during tough times.

The 28 reporters and subs at the Forman Street offices took part in a provincial journalists’ strike which began on 5 December 1978 and ended just over six weeks later, on 17 January 1979.

But they never returned to the Evening Post. It was the only paper in the country not to take back its journalists when the strike ended.

The strikers were determined and resourceful. While Forman Street picketing continued, they brought out their own newspaper, the Nottingham News, with sparkling exclusives and superior sports coverage – and sold it on the streets.

The Co-op was among those placing full-page ads. Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough refused to have anything to do with the Evening Post. Michael Parkinson wrote features for the Nottingham News. Supporters refused to buy the Evening Post.

Voluntary helpers joined the 28. And Sheffield-based Mike Bower, the NUJ regional organiser who went on to become leader of Sheffield City Council, was a tremendous encouragement.

Eventually the strikers moved on. The issue of the Nottingham News with a 19 March 1982 dateline was the last.

Where are they now?

A number of the journalists became successful freelances. Some joined the Mirror, the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express as subs and reporters.

Some became newspaper and magazine editors. Others moved into PR or journalism lecturing, or became press officers, TV executives and producers.

And one became general manager of Nottingham Panthers ice hockey team.

The Nottingham reunion on Saturday was organised after four of the 28 strikers took part in a Radio Nottingham programme on the strike.

They tracked down most of their colleagues, but three names are still missing.

They are Robin Anderson, who edited the now defunct Delegates magazine in London before moving to Northumberland; Paul Cowan, ex-editor of the Stornoway Gazette; and Peter Anderson, who worked as a sub in Loughborough and Peterborough.

Anyone who can help locate them should contact Terry Wootton. His email address is terry.wootton@talktalk.net.

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