One of the most colourful characters of newspaper journalism in the North has died.
Former Yorkshire Evening Post and Daily Mail photographer Edward ‘Ted’Winpenny was 77.
Sporting his trademark handlebar moustache, Winpenny, who died on 20 January, represented the era of newspaper photography in which ‘snappers’developed their own photographs, and the age of digital cameras and computers was unknown. Winpenny left a career in metallurgy in Leeds to join the ranks of Britain’s press photographers. After service in the Royal Air Force – during which he grew the handlebar moustache which he retained for the rest of his life – he joined the Yorkshire Evening Post. In 1954, Winpenny married Hazel – the couple celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary last year. Seven years later, he became staff photographer with the Daily Mail, covering northern England. Winpenny’s exploits as a national newspaper photographer are legendary, and in recent years young, trainee journalists would sit spellbound as he regaled them with his stories, such as the time he was chased down the streets of Halifax by a man later to be convicted of murder.
Control of costs was less stringently applied back in the day. Winpenny once hired a Viscount passenger airliner to fly himself and a reporter over the scene of a collision between two tankers in the North Sea.
He was due to spend Christmas on the North Sea’s first oil rig, Sea Gem. The assignment fell through. On Boxing Day, the rig sank in a severe gale with the loss of many lives. Winpenny chartered an ocean-going tug to cover the story. In 1971, Winpenny was made redundant when the Daily Mail and Daily Sketch merged. He launched his own photographic business in the market town of Otley in West Yorkshire, where he lived. He took on the bread and butter work of local commercial photography, but continued to contribute to local newspapers. Winpenny was a life member of the NUJ, and served as chairman of the union’s Leeds branch. In August last year, he was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, one of a growing number of victims of an asbestos factory which, in his childhood, blew asbestos dust over the community in which he then lived – Armley in Leeds. He leaves his widow, Hazel, son Christopher, daughter Vivian and two grandchildren.