Tributes to 'one of the best picture editors on Fleet Street' Alan Reed, who has died aged 83

Former Evening Standard and Sunday People picture editor Alan Reed has died aged 83.

Reed, from East Dulwich, London, began his career on Fleet Street as a 16-year-old when he found a job as a messenger boy for the Evening News.

Moving up the ranks he worked in the newspaper’s library before becoming picture editor. When the News closed in 1980 he joined the Sunday Express and later the Sunday People and Evening Standard.

Daily Mail assistant editor Charles Garside, who worked with Reed at the Evening News and Standard, said he regarded him as a great mentor.

“A lot of great photographers got their start in the industry because of Alan. And some went on to nationals,” he said.

When he wasn’t working 12-hour days Reed, who spent his later years in West Wickham, Kent, could often be found at dog tracks.

Said Garside: “He was a character. He loved his dogs and he took me a couple of times to the dog tracks and it was so fascinating to me. Alan was absolutely into it.”

Reed chose not to have a funeral but will instead have his ashes scattered at Brighton and Hove Greyhound Stadium as per his request.

Alan Reed

Reed’s son Paul said he became a photographer after being inspired by his dad.

He said his father’s gift of a Netar camera for a school trip to the Tower of London that resulted in his pictures being developed and displayed at the school with his byline was a turning point.

He said: “I saw that and all I wanted from then on was to be a photographer. He was the driving force and my inspiration.”

Suzie Hamilton a former Evening News colleague of Reed, said: “He was looked upon as one of the best picture editors on Fleet Street. Without him I would not have my career in pictures.

“When I became the picture editor for Sainsbury’s magazine he sent me a little note. It said ‘I always knew you’d make it and I am very proud of you. Love, Alan.’ And I still have it.”

She also remembered Reed’s sense of humour, even during the high-stress environment of the newsroom, adding: “One April Fool’s day he sent a photographer out to take pictures of garden gnomes in Surrey. The photographer came back fuming. After Alan had a laugh he took the photographer out for lunch.”

David Thorpe, who was also a photographer under Reed at the Evening News, said he taught him to put the paper first.

He said: “During The Troubles I was sent with three photographers to Ireland and before we left Alan told us that we had to pick the best picture to send not the first one. He said ‘I don’t care who took the first one, I want the best one’”.

Recalling the IRA bombing of the Aldershot Barracks in February 1972, Thorpe said he had been on a film set in North London at the time, adding: “Instead of sending a photographer from the office, he knew I would call and so Alan had the helicopter already running.

“Alan and I flew over the site and I managed to get three frames. Alan knew his staff and knew what would be the fastest way. All I did was take the photo and Alan did everything else. He was a quick-thinker.”

Thorpe said that when Reed was stressed and waiting for pictures to come back he would twirl his hair in his hands, making it stand up “like an aerial”.

He added that Reed was “tough, but fair” and if someone had let him down, or was lazy, he would punish them quietly, saying: “You’d be sent to photograph at the end of the tube lines for a few weeks.”

Reed died on Thursday 13 April at St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham. He is survived by his wife Sylvia, his son Paul and his daughter Helen.

Comments

1 thought on “Tributes to 'one of the best picture editors on Fleet Street' Alan Reed, who has died aged 83”

  1. Hi there all
    Mr. Osborne screwing all us taxpayers until the end!
    Please read on to understand what could going on now o.k.

    He is leaving now he got all the benefits the over M.P. got in April 2017

    1 * big pay rise below!
    Senior MPs to receive pay rise totaling £130,000
    MPs pay family members £5,600 more than other staff – Official watchdog
    MPs’ pay to reach nearly £75 k with 1.3% rise
    2 * the triple lock old age pension payments for life now.
    (All Govt got in April as well)
    3 * The only way to receive this cash plus pension for life you had to be a M.P. still in April 2017 when the rise was put in place! — Plus the time line for the pension for life payments kicked in!
    4 * They did on 19th April 2017 as Mr. Osborne knows he put all the pension payment plans in place for M.P.
    (To look after the Tory party backbencher that where rebelling on him.)
    They get this cash payment now, (pension money paid by taxpayer by the way)
    For life now be them in Govt as M.P.s or not now.
    5 * Therefore he stayed in Govt till the time line came 19th April 2017,
    Now he is going he got all the benefits
    (Pay rise + the full paid up pension pot for life)
    At the expenses of us, taxpayer as we will pay his massive pension pot cash for all in Govt now until them all drops dead.
    6 * One last thing the picture in this article well make him look like he as p**all to live off and an out of work politician and in need or our help?
    When He is screwing us taxpayer. (“Well dose it not?) We think it dose.
    .Scrooge would have nothing on “this man he could be Scrooge’s son.
    7 * If what “I have put here is incorrect Mr. Osborne please do correct on this web page or your paper or live on T.V
    8 * “I prefer the latter here live T.V. so everyone will know why Tory Govt changed the all of the pension rules for personal gains only.
    9* “I also wondered could the waspy woman pension cash be, being, used the complete this, Pension deal made up by Mr. Osborne when he was chancellor for Tory party, that’s why, Tory Govt will not retract the pension rules for waspy woman now!
    Cash for the waspy woman they could be using it to pay Govt pension for life s
    10 * Remember this comment voters in May + June 2017 when voting O.K.
    Have a nice day all taxpayer + voters out there.

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