Dramatic fire pictures in the East Kent Gazette series were taken by 18-year-old Simon Hammond, who joined the newspaper just three months ago straight from school, writes Jon Slattery.
Hammond got the exclusive pictures after the fire raged through piles of scrapped cars in Ridham Dock. At one time 70 firemen were trying to bring the blaze under control. Hammond persuaded workers at a nearby firm to let him on to the roof of a portable building where he had a grandstand view of the action.
Also at the scene was one of the East Kent Gazette’s sales reps, Nigel Downes, who was on the way back from a call when he spotted the smoke. He took his own pictures of the blaze and caught Hammond in action.
That gave the newspaper the chance to do a background piece using the pictures of Hammond and explaining to readers how the newspaper had covered the big story.
Editor Christine Rayner said: “The fact that one of our circulation reps captured Simon going about his job was a bonus. It gave us the opportunity to reward his dedication and give readers a behind the scenes glimpse of how much goes into bringing them the news – particularly relevant as the EKG cover price has just gone up 5p to 45p.”