Ted Dickinson, one of the stalwarts of the Daily and Sunday Express
great days, died at East Barnet Hospital on Sunday 18 September. He had
been in failing health for some time, following an operation for the
replacement of heart valves. He was 74.
At the Express Group, he retired as deputy editor to John Junor in 1988 to nurse his wife, who died from cancer.
began his career in the traditional manner on local newspapers, moving
as a sub-editor to the Grimsby Evening Telegraph and on to the Daily
Mail office in Edinburgh.
His next move was to the Daily Express
in Manchester in 1959 and a swift transfer to the London office as a
sub-editor in the early 1960s. He was widely regarded by his peers as
one of a handful of Fleet Street super-subs, and he was constantly
turning down offers to work elsewhere.
He was appointed editor in
Manchester before returning to London, where he became deputy editor to
Arthur Firth. At a point when editors were coming and going with
ever-increasing frequency, it was people like Ted who kept the soul and
professional standards of the paper alive.
Editors he worked with
included Roger Wood, Bob Edwards, Derek Marks, Ian McColl, Alistair
Burnett, Derek Jameson, Chris Ward and, finally, the indestructible
At home he was a devoted family man, married to Sheena
MacAuslane, daughter of Max, editor of the Edinburgh Evening News. A
big man and a tough operator in every sense of the word in the office,
Ted was a gentle giant at home with Sheena and daughters Susan and
He was a great supporter of the old Press Club in Shoe
Lane, and a shrewd hand at poker. Outside work, his interests were
cricket, racing, golf and football – Middlesex of the Compton- Edrich
era, golf against rivals from the Mirror and Mail, and Queen’s Park
Rangers. And what a rare celebration we had after plunging a week’s
subediting wages ante post on the winner of the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot.
a wartime London evacuee, Ted was sent to a farm in Northamptonshire,
where the farmer neglected to send him to school for a while and put
this strapping lad to work in the fields. This lack of formal schooling
was never apparent, for his command of the language was superb and he
was widely read and determined to become a newspaperman.
a magnificent journalist and the best bad-weather friend you could
have. His advice, kindness, sense of humour and support were legion.
Wherever he worked – Edinburgh, Manchester and London – they remembered and liked “big Ted”, the professionals’ professional.
By John Jenkins