Twenty years after its closure, former Fleet Street News Agency staff sought for reunion

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What was one of Britain’s biggest news agencies is inviting former staff to a reunion to celebrate its history.

London News Agency, better known as Fleet Street News Agency, is calling on former journalists and photographers to mark 20 years since its owner, John Rodgers, retired and the agency closed.

The party is to be held at the Coin Laundry in Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, next to the agency’s former offices after it relocated from Fleet Street in 1972.

Now rebranded, the Coin Laundry pub will be more familiar to ex-staff as the London Spa.

Len Read, a former news editor who is organising the event, said: “John had a landmark birthday party earlier this year and, speaking to several former employees, there was great impetus to get a reunion organised – and what better place than Exmouth Market, where much of the history was made.”

The reunion will take place on 30 November in the pub’s private basement.

Read has made contact with 60 former employees so far but is appealing for anybody who has a link to the Fleet Street News Agency, and its associated services, to get in touch and attend the party.

He said: “Social media means it is a little easier to track down people but I know there must be many more out there.

“I’d like them to get in touch, even if it’s to put in that final expenses claim they reckon they were never paid.”

Rodgers, acquired several independent news agencies including: Sport and General, Barratts Photo Press and East London News Agency.

Read went on to say: “Everywhere you go, whether the BBC , public relations, book publishing, magazines and all shades of the printed press, there will be someone with a debt of gratitude to John.

“Indeed, one of our former trainees is now one of the biggest DJs in the world playing concerts to tens of thousands of people – and he did my wedding back in the day.”

Those interested in going to the party can register their interest by sending Len Read an email at len.read@googlemail.com.

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