Back Issues 15.07.04


The big news in July 1969 was the investiture of Prince Charles in Caernarvon. This picture shows The Sun’s Noel Whitcomb striking a
regal pose and an unnamed Prince Charles stand-in. They were acting out the investiture so that Daily Sketch photographer Geoff White could get his range right. According to Press Gazette, the investiture brought out the biggest ever display of colour in the regional and national press. The Daily Express carried a frontpage colour picture of Prince Charles in full regalia – and sold more than four million copies. Sales of the Daily Mirror, which carried a five-page special, were up 10 per cent.


Sunday Mirror reporter Ken Bennett and photographer Rob Rendle were pictured on the front of Press Gazette squashed into a
mini-submarine as they searched for the Loch Ness Monster. The search, which took place in Pisces, a mini-sub built by Vickers for oceanic survey work, turned up no more than a baby trout. Bennett, now head of PR for Emap’s Key 103 radio station in Manchester and one of the founders of the Mersey Media Network, remembers the search well. “It was as black as Guinness down there,” he recalls. The picture was taken by Rendle using (naturally) a fish-eye lens.


Southampton’s Southern Evening Echo had been given a facelift in an effort to regain a circulation of more than 100,000. The paper had dropped below that figure after the price went up to five old pence.


Retiring county court judge Sir Owen Temple-Morris QC confessed a secret ambition in Barry court – to be a journalist. “I always looked at the reporters’ bench with a certain amount of envy,” he said. Sir Owen described the table on which the press wrote as “a little bit of wood which should not be thrown away”. He admitted that he had secretly carved his own initials in it, alongside those left by the journalists. Sir Owen said that when it was time for the table to be discarded he wanted it presented to the Western Mail and South Wales Echo, “where it could be preserved as a token of appreciation of the excellent and accurate reporting of journalists in this court”.


SUNIPC announced that The Sun was to cease publication from January 1970 due to “tremendous losses” sustained over the previous eight years. Robert Maxwell MP quickly stated he was in touch with IPC and had plans to publish The Sun in a new format in the new year. The paper employed 280 journalists who announced their availability for work in a Press Gazette advert placed by the NUJ chapel. It was Rupert Murdoch who eventually gained control of the paper.


Mr Punch was on the move. Editor William Davis trundled him from Bouverie Street, where Punch had been produced for 126 years, to his new home 50 yards away in Tudor Street.

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