Present and past Daily Mail colleagues who graduated through the Belfast branch office flew back to Ulster to join mourners at the funeral of Ted Scallan.
Ted, who died on 18 June, aged 71, spent his entire career with the Mail in Belfast, starting out as an office boy straight from school at the end of Second World War. He operated the teleprinter and telephoto machine before being launched into the streets as a trainee reporter. He covered big national stories at the time, including the sinking of the Princess Victoria ferry between Stranraer and Larne (1953) and the murder of judge’s daughter Patricia Curran (1952).
He declined offers of transfer throughout the Troubles, which began in 1969, and in 1971 became bureau chief. There was a steady flow of young reporters and photographers from Manchester and London through the branch office. Many of them remembered Ted and the camaraderie of those dangerous days. They met again at Roselawn Crematorium to offer condolences to Ted’s widow, Anne, who had devotedly cared for him since his retirement, aged 59, following a stoke. They included Richard Kay, John Thorne (BBC), Noreen Erskine, Chris Buckland (News of the World), Ted Oliver, Johnny Walters, and Paddy Reynolds, Ted’s predecessor.
They were joined by rivals, some now retired, from the past 50 years, like Syd Young (Mirror), Bob Brady (Express), Trevor Hanna (Sun), Fred Hoare (Mirror), Joe Gorrod (Mirror), Martin Lindsay (Sunday Life editor), Jim McDowell (Northern editor Sunday World) and not forgetting the oldest veteran of them all, James Kelly, who is 91 and still writing for The Irish News.